1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Clara Reeve

Horace Walpole to William Cole, 22 August 1778; Letters, ed. Cunningham (1906) 7:111.



I have seen, too the criticism you mention on the Castle of Otranto, in the preface to the Old English Baron. It is not at all oblique, but, though mixed with high compliments, directly attacks the visionary part, which, says the author or authoress, makes one laugh. I do assure you, I have not had the smallest inclination to return the attack. It would even be ungrateful, for the work is a professed imitation of mine, only stripped of the marvellous; and so entirely stripped, except in one awkward attempt at a ghost or two, that it is the most insipid dull nothing you ever saw. It certainly does not make one laugh; for what makes one doze, seldom makes one merry.