Boozy Books: The Mysteries of Udolpho

Heyo! Welcome to today’s (well, yesterday’s) Boozy Books. I confess, I’m not sure what’s going on with A; we’re on opposite sides of the state right now, so we’re not seeing each other. But it’s an easy assumption to make that, because she’s an exciting individual with actual friends, she is busy. I, with no life, don’t know the meaning of busy, so I’m here to remember what day of the week it is. (How *I’m* the one that remembers  what day it is is mind-boggling, to be frank, but… that’s how it is.)

Today’s book is considered the quintessential Gothic romance. It is featured heavily in Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey, and it’s actually by love of Austen that got me into reading a lot of the novels she mentions in hers. It feels a bit like Jane and I are in the same book club, you know? And who doesn’t want to be in a book club with Jane freakin’ Austen?

Anyway… The Mysteries of Udolpho is about a girl named Emily, who shares a very close bond with her father, and a huge appreciation for nature. They go on a journey together through Europe, where Emily meets and falls in love with Valancourt, who feels the same way about the world — and Emily. Unfortunately, Emily’s father dies, which forces to her to live with an unaffectionate aunt. Her aunt’s husband tries to force her to marry a ruined Count, and then carries her off to the castle of Udolpho. People die of horrible things, there are secret admirers, lost fortunes, attempts to run off… all the staples of Gothic romance. And, in the end, Emily is finally reunited with the man she loves along with the fortune that should’ve been hers all along. Seriously… there’s secret passages hidden behind bookshelves, pirates, dashing soldiers, scheming relatives… I could go on.

If that sounds cliche, well… it’s because everyone copied this. When I say quintessential, I mean it. Huge Jane Eyre fan? How about Wuthering Heights? This is the novel that inspired all of that.

To that end, I think the only thing I can recommend is a Malbec. It seems to be our choice for dark, but that makes sense, doesn’t it? Or, if you really want to go the whole way into the cliche, get you some Absinthe and visit with the green fairy!

Sorry we were late! I’ll be back later today with something Shakespeare-related!

C

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