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Listeners will thrill to this gothic romance. The comely Julia loves one man, but is forced by her arrogant father into a marriage for profit. She escapes the castle in which she is trapped and encounters many perils on her run to freedom. Author Ward was a pioneer of gothic fiction. Her novels are filled with lush landscapes and exotic travels, and supernatural phenomena inform the story. A large number of diverse writers were influenced by Ward’s work. Many of those writers exceeded Ward in remaining overtly relevant in literature. In a soft and refined voice narrator Alison Larkin brings a glowing Julia to life. But Larkin’s melodic tone really warms to the text when she shares Ward’s minute and sensual descriptions of nature.
A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe is considered the pioneer of the gothic novel.
On the northern shore of Sicily, the magnificent remains of a castle, which formerly belonged to the noble house of Mazzini, can still be seen. It stands in the center of a small bay, and upon a gentle acclivity, which, on one side, slopes toward the sea, and on the other rises into an eminence crowned by dark woods....