1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Walpole

Thomas Green, 1 February 1797; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 23.



Read the Castle of Otranto; which grievously disappointed my expectations. The tale is, in itself, insipid; and Mrs. Radcliffe, out of possible contingencies, evokes scenes of far more thrilling horror, than are attained by the supernatural and extravagant machinery, which, after all, alone imparts interest to the Romance. — Let me, however, except from all censure, and honour with all praise, the scene in which Manfred receives the mute messengers of Challenge: — it is capitally supported. — The prefixed strictures on Voltaire, are just, but feeble.