Book summary: The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne


Ann Radcliffe's first novel is set in the Middle Ages against the melancholy beauty of mountains and rugged coasts of the Scottish Highlands, tells the story of the warring clan chieftains of Athlin and Dunbayne. One of the earliest Gothic tales (1789), it recounts low-born Alleyn's quest for love and honour, and alternates scenes of passionate feeling with breakneck pursuits. The castle itself, in all its romantic sublimity, becomes the true focal point of the novel. Long out of print, this edition makes a little-known treasure available to modern readers.

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