The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto

Horace Walpole

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Editore: Caiman
Formato: EPUB
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 230,03 KB
  • EAN: 9789881830029

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INTRODUCTION

Horace Walpole was the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, the great statesman, who died Earl of Orford.  He was born in 1717, the year in which his father resigned office, remaining in opposition for almost three years before his return to a long tenure of power.  Horace Walpole was educated at Eton, where he formed a school friendship with Thomas Gray, who was but a few months older.  In 1739 Gray was travelling-companion with Walpole in France and Italy until they differed and parted; but the friendship was afterwards renewed, and remained firm to the end.  Horace Walpole went from Eton to King’s College, Cambridge, and entered Parliament in 1741, the year before his father’s final resignation and acceptance of an earldom.  His way of life was made easy to him.  As Usher of the Exchequer, Comptroller of the Pipe, and Clerk of the Estreats in the Exchequer, he received nearly two thousand a year for doing nothing, lived with his father, and amused himself.

Horace Walpole idled, and amused himself with the small life of the fashionable world to which he was proud of belonging, though he had a quick eye for its vanities.  He had social wit, and liked to put it to small uses.  But he was not an empty idler, and there were seasons when he could become a sharp judge of himself.  “I am sensible,” he wrote to his most intimate friend, “I am sensible of having more follies and weaknesses and fewer real good qualities than most men.  I sometimes reflect on this, though, I own, too seldom.  I always want to begin acting like a man, and a sensible one, which I think I might be if I would.”  He had deep home affections, and, under many polite affectations, plenty of good sense.

Horace Walpole’s father died in 1745.  The eldest son, who succeeded to the earldom, died in 1751, and left a son, George, who was for a time insane, and lived until 1791.  As George left no child, the title and estates passed to Horace Walpole, then seventy-four years old, and the only uncle who survived.  Horace Walpole thus became Earl of Orford, during the last six years of his life.  As to the title, he said that he felt himself being called names in his old age.  He died unmarried, in the year 1797, at the age of eighty.
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  • Horace Walpole Cover

    (Londra 1717-97) scrittore inglese. Figlio del primo ministro Robert Walpole, studiò a Eton e a Cambridge e compì poi un lungo viaggio in Europa insieme al poeta Th. Gray. Membro del parlamento dal 1741 al 1748, acquistò nel 1747, a Twickenham, nei sobborghi di Londra, una casa che trasformò in uno stravagante maniero, detto Strawberry Hill, che è forse l’esempio più famoso di architettura neogotica settecentesca. Appassionato collezionista, studioso di storia, W. è autore di varie opere di curiosità erudita, ma è soprattutto l’iniziatore del romanzo gotico. Nel Castello di Otranto (The castle of Otranto, 1764), che tutta l’Europa lesse e imitò in vari modi, W. ha creato uno scenario di innegabile suggestione, fatto di paesaggi notturni, di cieli tempestosi, di passaggi segreti e rumori misteriosi,... Approfondisci
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