Classic Review: The Romance of the Forest

The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
The Romance of the Forest 
by Ann Radcliffe

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Adeline is cast out by her father and finds shelter with her new friends, the La Motte family, who are on the run from the law. The family find a refuge in an old ruined Abbey in the depths of the forest, where they hide from prying eyes, always terrified that they will be discovered and forced from their pitiful home.

The Marquis who owns the dilapidated Abbey, discovers them living on his land, but inexplicably allows them to remain, making a mysterious alliance with Mr. La Motte. Ghoulish skeletons, mysterious manuscripts, and gruesome secret rooms are lying around all over the Abbey, and the dark forest holds secrets of its own.

The friendly Theodore warns Adeline that her life is in danger, but he is called away to his regiment before he can explain or help her. Adeline goes through every kind of disaster and terrifying mishap, fleeing for her life when she is betrayed by those she trusts.

This is Gothic melodrama at its best! I lost count of how many times Adeline fainted, but it must have been more than twenty times. She dissolves into tears, is frozen with terror, collapses under the strain of horror, and is prostrate with grief in every single chapter.

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