High Gothic

Ann Radcliffe
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

A gothic novel with a plot that "unites action of a specifically Scottish medieval nature with the characterization and morality of the eighteenth-century cult of sensibility".

Subtitled "A Highland Tale", the novel is set in the feudal Scottish Highlands and centred around the two titular castles of Athlin and Dunbayne. Whilst Athlin – "an edifice built on the summit of a rock whose base was in the sea" – is home to a refined society headed by the gentle Countess Matilda and her children, Dunbayne is the domain of the villainous Baron Malcolm. The novel's plot follows the young Earl of Athlin, Osbert, who seeks to take revenge against the unlawful murder of his father by the Baron Malcolm twelve years earlier after meeting the peasant Alleyn (who is later revealed to be the true heir to the castle of Dunbayne).

Though significantly shorter than Radcliffe's later and more famous novels (chiefly The Mysteries of Udolpho), in The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne Radcliffe began to shape many of the themes and conventions that would later come to define her work. (Source: Wikipedia)

James White
Earl Strongbow: or the History of Richard de Clare and the Beautiful Geralda
Ann Radcliffe
A Sicilian Romance

The plot of this gothic novel concerns the fallen nobility of the house of Mazzini, on the northern shore of Sicily, as related by a tourist who learns of their turbulent history from a monk he meets at the ruins of their once-magnificent castle.

The introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition notes that in this novel "Ann Radcliffe began to forge the unique mixture of the psychology of terror and poetic description that would make her the great exemplar of the Gothic novel, and the idol of the Romantics". The novel explores the "cavernous landscapes and labyrinthine passages of Sicily's castles and convents to reveal the shameful secrets of its all-powerful aristocracy". (Source: Wikipedia)

William Lane
Establishing of Minerva Press

A publishing house, notable for creating a lucrative market in sentimental and Gothic fiction, active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was established by William Lane (c. 1745–1814) at No 33 Leadenhall Street, London, when he moved his circulating library there in about 1790.

The Minerva Press was hugely successful in its heyday, though it had a reputation for sensationalism among readers and critics, and for sharp business practices among some of its competitors. Many of Lane's regular writers were women, including Regina Maria Roche (The Maid of Hamlet, 1793; Clermont, 1798); Eliza Parsons (The Castle of Wolfenbach, 1793; The Mysterious Warning, 1796); E. M. Foster; and Eleanor Sleath (The Orphan of the Rhine, 1798) whose Gothic fiction is included in the list of seven "horrid novels" recommended by the character Isabella Thorpe in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. In fact, six of the Northanger Seven were published by Minerva. During this period women authors in general struggled to balance their profession with social pressures to be modest, and authors of sensation fiction were particularly vulnerable to such criticisms. Many Minerva titles were published anonymously, including such novels as Count Roderic's Castle (1794), The Haunted Castle (1794), The Animated Skeleton (1798), the five novels of Helen Craik, and The New Monk (1798).

Valancourt Books began reprinting Minerva Press titles in 2005, beginning with the anonymously published The Animated Skeleton (1798). They have gone on to reissue over twenty titles, most with scholarly introductions. (Source: Wiki)

1789 / 1791
François Guillaume Ducray-Duminil
Alexis, ou la Maisonnette dans les bois (Alexis or the small house in the woods)

The French version was first published in Paris in 1789 in 4 volumes. (Source: Wiki)

The first English edition seems to have been the
translation which appeared in the Lady's Magazine in thirty-one instalments from March 1791 to July 1793, and which was reprinted in Boston as the 'First American Edition' in 1796.  This novel bears strong similarity to Radcliffe's The Romance Of The Forest and it seems Radcliffe read earlier translation if it.(Source)

In Les Misérables Victor Hugo refers to Ducray-Duminil's works as "stupid romances" which the favourite reading of Madame Thénardier. Critics ridiculed his style and syntax, but he mainly aimed at clarity, an essential quality considering the type of audience he was addressing. His imagination was fertile, and the enduring success of his work is largely due to his talent as a story-teller. Many playwrights borrowed from his plots. (Source: Wiki)

Ann Radcliffe
The Romance of the Forest

A gothic novel that combines an air of mystery and suspense with an examination of the tension between hedonism and morality.

Ann Radcliffe
The Mysteries of Udolpho

This Gothic novel appeared in four volumes on 8 May 1794 from G. G. and J. Robinson of London. The fourth and most popular novel of Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho tells of Emily St. Aubert, who suffers misadventures that include the death of her mother and father, supernatural terrors in a gloomy castle, and machinations of an Italian brigand. Often cited as the archetypal Gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho appears prominently in Jane Austen's 1817 novel Northanger Abbey, where an impressionable young woman reader comes to see friends and acquaintances as Gothic villains and victims, with amusing results. (Source: Wikipedia)

Matthew Gregory Lewis
The Monk

The Monk: A Romance is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. A quickly written book from early in Lewis's career (in one letter he claimed to have written it in ten weeks, but other correspondence suggests that he had at least started it, or something similar, a couple of years earlier), it was published before he turned twenty. It is a prime example of the type of Gothic that specialises in the aspect of horror. Its convoluted and scandalous plot has made it one of the most important Gothic novels of its time, often imitated and adapted for the stage and the screen. (Source: Wikipedia)