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Nightmare Abbey

Thomas Love Peacock

Book Overview: 

Deep in the fens of the British coast sits the gloomy mansion that goes by the name Nightmare Abbey. It is inhabited by persons of very low opinion of the human race, and in fact they pride themselves in the depths of their detestation. Others of its denizens believe the ultimate exercise and product of the human mind ought to be chaos.

Now let the young master of the house get snared by the wiles of a beautiful young lady. And for good measure, toss in another beautiful young lady. Now Scythrop (named in honor of an ancestor who became bored with life and hanged himself) is about to find that two such make too much of a good thing!

Peacock wrote Nightmare Abbey as a satire, and he has folded in allusions to quotations from literally dozens of other works. He makes use of many long, impressive-sounding words (some of which he very possibly made up!). Ignore these and his occasional Latin phrase, treat the rest as a farce, and you’re on track for a fun listen!

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Book Excerpt: 
. . ., what an enormous slice this lawsuit has cut out of our family estate? we who used to be the greatest landed proprietors in Lincolnshire.'

'To be sure, sir, we had more acres of fen than any man on this coast: but what are fens to love? What are dykes and windmills to Marionetta?'

'And what, sir, is love to a windmill? Not grist, I am certain: besides, sir, I have made a choice for you. I have made a choice for you, Scythrop. Beauty, genius, accomplishments, and a great fortune into the bargain. Such a lovely, serious creature, in a fine state of high dissatisfaction with the world, and every thing in it. Such a delightful surprise I had prepared for you. Sir, I have pledged my honour to the contract—the honour of the Glowries of Nightmare Abbey: and now, sir, what is to be done?'

'Indeed, sir, I cannot say. I claim, on this occasion, that liberty of action which is the co-natal prerogative of every. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nightmare Abbey was written in 1818 by Thomas Love Peacock. It is a gothic satire, which delights in parodying the current fashions of the time, such as the Romantic Movement in Literature and Transcendental Philosophy. Although the modern reader can enjoy these witty descriptions even today, it...more

Despite its name, Nightmare Abbey isn't Gothic horror but rather a humorous spoof of the Gothic and romance tales of the late 1700s. I found myself laughing out loud at several places, although the pseudo-Transcendentalist/Kantian language was sometimes a bit heavy to wade through. Only about 100...more

I read this astounding little book in a 1891 edition that must have been found not on the dusty back shelves of the University Library but, indeed, in its catacombs, so dog-eared and fragile and yellowed with age it is, printed on thickened almost cardboard-like pages, perhaps, could one believe...more

This is a delicious, novella-length sliver of a book: a madder, badder, zanier cousin to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Both were published in 1818, although Peacock’s, his first novel, was newly composed, while Austen’s, published posthumously, had been completed at least fifteen years earlier,...more

You are leaving England, Mr Cypress. There is a delightful melancholy in saying farewell to an old acquaintance, when the chances are twenty to one against ever meeting again. A smiling bumper to a sad parting, and let us all be unhappy together.

Oh, I loved this book. This is exactly what I was h...more

Nightmare Abbey is a work by a lesser writer surrounded by excellent peers. He lacked the personal brilliance and powerful originality to create his own masterpiece; thus, he satirised those that were better than him. He teased them, mocked them and attacked their idiosyncrasies here.

We have a c...more

رواية نُشرت عام 1818 للأديب الانجليزي توماس لف بيكوك
بيكوك من كُتاب الأدب الساخر في القرن التاسع عشر
رواية ساخرة ومرحة تنقد الاتجاهات والأفكار السائدة في ذلك الوقت
الحركة الرومانسية في الأدب والفكر وما يصاحبها من قلق وتعاسة وكآبة
الكاتب اختار اسم كل شخصية تعبر عن أفكارها ونظرتها للحياة
والحوار مميز ما...more

Nightmare Abbey is a minor classic of gothic comedy, in the vein of Northanger Abbey. Thomas Peacock hung out with the Shelleys and their crew; his protagonist here, Scythorp Glowry, is based on Percy Bysshe.

It's slight and short and fun. Peacock is one of those authors who takes pleasure in maki...more

Although the plot of “Nightmare Abbey” is cardboard-thin, it is full of interesting characters and parodic situations. The plot is mainly used as a convenience to deliver the conversations of the residents and guests of the Nightmare Abbey, who happened to be some of the most poetic and philosoph...more

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