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Bungay Castle: A Novel

Elizabeth Bonhote

Book Overview: 

Bungay Castle is a gothic novel by Elizabeth Bonhôte. It follows the fortunes of the De Morney family at Bungay Castle in Suffolk. Two young members of the family, Roseline and Edwin, search for the source of strange, unearthly cries and discover a terrifying secret in the castle's bowels which will change their lives forever. The story combines the classic Gothic tropes of mystery, betrayal and a heroine in peril in suitably imposing surroundings and has been praised in modern times for its proto-feminist sensibility. The young women in the story keep their fates in their own hands, rather than wait for some dashing hero to come to the rescue. (Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ld have occupied all my thoughts and wishes."

Edwin threw himself at the feet of Madeline. His raptures were now as unbounded as the conflict had been severe; and not till she sunk fainting into the arms of her friend, could he be persuaded to quit their apartment.

Happy was it for the party that Roseline had not only a greater share of prudence and understanding that most of her sex, but likewise more fortitude than is usually their portion. She soon recovered, her friend soothed her into some degree of composure, and endeavoured to inspire her with hopes that some plan might be adopted which would remove those difficulties that threatened to divide two hearts love had united, and which appeared formed by nature to make each other happy. Roseline well knew her father would not only be displeased, but shocked, if he discovered this unfortunate attachment, and she blamed herself for having been the innocent cause of involving tw. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Part melodramatic novel and part moral ramblings, Bungay Castle reads painfully slow for a novel so short. Halfway through the maw of life lessons I realized I had very little clue what the point of the story actually was. Never fear for others in this predicament. Editor Curt Herr has not develo...more

Judging from the presented review i'm thinking that Bungay Castle should be loaded with mystery and adventure and all that but apparently i need to read it again... Sometime...more

I had high expectations from the reviews I read. A strong heroine? Didn't really see much of that that "defied" the social norm of the time the book was written in. Agreeably she wasn't feeble or campy...but she did internalize every difficulty that happened to her---which I could relate to. Stil...more

Dedication: TO THE MOST NOBLE CHARLES DUKE OF NORFOLK, WHOSE URBANITY AND PHILANTHROPY MUST EVER REFLECT ADDITIONAL HONOURS ON THE NAME OF HOWARD; BY WHOSE NOBLE FAMILY BUNGAY CASTLE WAS POSSESSED FOR MANY CENTURIES; THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, BY HIS GRACE'S MOST OBEDIENT, AN...more

There's this sort of Gothic

and there's this sort

This is definitely the latter.

It's classic Gothic fiction--melodramatic and implausible, with love at first sight, fainting heroines, and sentences as rambling as the castle staircases. You even get the long lost son of nobility whose identity is confirmed by his birthmark. And that's exactly what I was looking for when I pic...more

It’s somehow reassuring to know that even 200+ years ago, when the USA was freshly minted, and Jane Austen was still in the schoolroom, there were still trashy novels. I'm not a scholar or a literary critic, so I have nothing to say about the book's relevance to the women's movement, or its possi...more

I have to admit I haven't read any gothic literature before (that I can recall anyway) and wasn't sure what to expect. This was a charming tale, light on the ghosts, lots of little mysteries to be resolved as the story unfolds, and probably one of the first feminist characters ever put into a tal...more

I have opened another personal can of worms here, I think, since I know so little about gothic literature. I have to start somewhere, I suppose, and having already read The Castle of Otranto, this book would seem to be a logical progression (in chronological terms) within the genre.

If you are a...more

I bought this book about a month after it came out and I bought it at the little tea shop at Bungay Castle itself, in June 2006. I was in England and visiting my friend and his family in Bungay, Suffolk - they were visiting England too, as his parents lived and worked there.

That weekend around m...more

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