Welcome to the twenty-first episode of the What the Austen? podcast! I'm your host Izzy and I am joined by my friend and fellow Janeite Martha from @marthabethanreads. In this episode, we will be unlocking all the secrets of The Mysteries of Udolpho a novel by Anne Radcliffe which Catherine Morland reads during Northanger Abbey.
We will run through the plot of Udolpho, talk about the references in Northanger Abbey and all around explore the Gothic that inspired Jane Austen's satire. This is a long book to try and summaries and so I have created a supporting document which you can download from my website: www.whattheausten.com
This was such a fun episode to record and a wonderful novel to read despite its length, we hope you enjoy tuning in.
This podcast is about Janeites coming together, discussing Jane Austen's work, and having a few laughs along the way.
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Izzy Meakin 00:18
Hi Janeites and welcome to episode 21 of the what the Austen podcast and to my first of my October spooky season episodes. This one is definitely going to get you in the mood for all things Gothic and Halloween. I'm lucky enough to be joined by Martha from Martha Bethan reads. This is Martha's second time appearing on the podcast. She was also on for the Bridgeton episode that we did earlier in the year. So welcome back, Martha. I'm so glad to have you back on the podcast.
Yeah, I'm really excited. It'd be really cool to talk about what we've got planned for today.
Izzy Meakin 00:49
Though, in this episode, we'll be covering the mysteries of Udolpho, which is a novel by Anne Radcliffe. And if you've read Northanger Abbey, you will have heard this book mentioned quite a few times, as it's the novel that Catherine is reading throughout Northanger Abbey is plots. Don't worry, things won't get too spooky. But we will be working our way through the plot of Udolpho, So this is a warning. Now, if you want to read the novel, or tackle the 30 hour long audio book like myself and Martha did, then please feel free to listen to this after the fact. This is a long book, it takes a while to get through. And what I will say is I have friends who have tried and abandoned it in the past, you have to get through volume one and things start picking up after that point, I would say and also I really recommend using the audio book over reading it. But if you just want an idea of what happens in this novel and how it's referenced in Northanger Abbey, then please stick around. Yeah,
it is quite long. I managed to get through it quicker than I normally would because I was doing some like DIY at home. But yeah, 30 hours is probably the longest audiobook I've ever listened to.
Izzy Meakin 01:50
So before we start today, then I thought I'd ask you do you have a favourite graphic novel? And do you have a favourite thing you'd like to do for Halloween?
I yeah, I have a really interesting relationship with the Gothic because I read quite a lot of uniques I did literature and some of the most popular ones and not my favourites like I have read folk Frankenstein three times, but I've never loved it. I think Mary Shelley's a genius, but I don't relate to those characters very much. So I really like the more subdued Gothic type things like Picture of Dorian Grey. I love kind of that later. Yeah, that like later Victorian Gothic, which is so different. And again, a quite a big character study, but I love a good character study. And I really like the Bronte's but specifically the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, where the Gothic is so much more subtle. And it's more kind of the fear of dominating male characters. And in terms of Halloween, I love Halloween. I love October, it's my favourite month always think of the Anne Shirley quote like I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers from those. And I've got a few things planned. So I feel like I've decorated a little bit for autumn. But I've got a few more things got for Halloween, and I've got a local pumpkin patch, but with my friends towards the end of the month. So we'll go out and do that. So that'll be really fun. I'll probably take the dog with me, which he really likes last year, just running around sniffing all the pumpkins. And yeah, I just really enjoy it and I always love the Halloween strictly special thing is always is always a highlight. Oh my gosh, that's amazing.
Izzy Meakin 03:29
Yeah, I've also done a bit of decorating and I've also booked a pumpkin patch to go and pick a pumpkin now that's the first time I've done it. You know, I'm really excited to go and do that this year, so this should be good. I do also I love autumn. I love Halloween so I'm kind of really excited to get watching like Tim Burton films in the Addams Family. That's one of my favourite films, so I can't wait for all of that and making cookies.
Yeah, I got some Halloween cookie cutter was already from TK Maxx HomeSense. And I've got like a bunch of films that I'll watch. I've already watched Practical Magic once this year, but it'll definitely be watched again because that's one of my favourite Halloween films.
Izzy Meakin 04:04
I'm excited for these October episodes, I mean, they're not super spooky, but it's just fun to do kind of more Gothic themed topics over the October, October month. So starting with how you'd also is referenced in Northanger Abbey. There's some really great scenes and one of them's obviously when her and Isabella are chatting about it. Isabella says to Katherine, have you gone on with Adolfo? Yes, I have been reading it ever since I woke. And I have got to the black veil. Are you indeed how delightful. Oh, I would not tell you what is behind the black veil for the world. Are you not well to know? And I feel like that is actually such a good capture of the book because the black Bale is quite an exciting part which we'll get onto when we start talking about Edo. But I feel like that's quite a good capture of of, of why it's excited to read you Adolfo.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean that bit. I was kind of waiting for that bit having read Northanger Abbey, but was always like, Oh, I wonder what is behind the black belts. Obviously, Catherine and Isabella talk about it. And it's the scene is quite dramatic when Emily approaches the black veil, he's the main character from Rudolfo. And then you literally have to wait like hours and hours of the audio book to find out what it is it was really intriguing. And now and then she brings it up again. So I was definitely interested to see what was behind there. So I can see why Catherine was really excited to find out what's there. Yeah,
Izzy Meakin 05:25
and not so long after she has that conversation with Isabel as she says, I am delighted with the book, I should like to spend my whole life and reading it, I assure you, if I had not been to meet you, I would have not come away from it for the whole world. And I feel like that is also very true. It's once you get hooked and you don't think that's it, then you just I mean, because we've been chatting backwards and forwards as we've been reading it and it's just, it's a journey really, isn't it? There's just so much wild stuff that goes on. When did she get hooked? That's it.
Yeah, I mean, I would say to people that want to read it. The first volume is a little bit slow. But it sets so many things up. And then volumes two, three, and four was so rapid. I literally couldn't stop listening. Because he said to me, like don't worry if you can't get through it. I was like, No, I need to know I need to know what happened. So it was it was really addictive. And you're right. It's such a wild ride. I just had no idea what was gonna come next. And I definitely really enjoyed that element. It was very fast paced and captivating, and I really enjoyed it.
Izzy Meakin 06:27
Yeah, absolutely. And I think what's also really interesting is now I read Rudolfo it makes me kind of hate John thought more and appreciate Henry told me more. So there's a bit where John thought looks like a bit of a numpty, which is quite a common position for him. But Catherine sparks have a conversation about Rudolfo. And John Thorpe is saying how he thinks it's all a load of nonsense. And he enjoys work by Anne Radcliffe. So Catherine's like, This is really awkward. You'd also was written by Ann Radcliffe, and John Lewis jersey. Honestly, John just looks like an absolute fool. And what I kind of love is it's actually Katherine that calls him out on this and basically says, like, you're being an idiot that was written by her. And it's, it's honestly one of the best exchanges between them. I think,
John thought is probably one of the least likeable Austen characters out there, because he is just ridiculous. He's that typical man who just thinks he knows everything, and you've got no clue. And he's just going to mansplain everything to you. And he probably frustrates me more than most of Austen's other is, I mean, he's kind of a villain, he doesn't really have enough of an influence to be a full villain, like Wickham or Willoughby. But he's just ridiculous. And I really, really don't know how Catherine tolerates him at all, because I would really struggle and things like that when he is putting down something that she's clearly really excited about. And he's just literally doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. It just baffles me. He just clearly has no respect for her or her opinions.
Izzy Meakin 07:55
No, but I also kind of love that he slips up so badly, because I'm just like, that's so cringy. And she's, she's calling you out, and she's called you off on it. And I just love that.
Yeah, he's, he's the sort of person that would literally argue that something was black when it was clearly white. Like, he just has no concept of what reality is. He's just got his own pictures in his head. So it's really funny that she calls him out. And then he's like, oh, oh, okay.
Izzy Meakin 08:19
But what I love about it is later in the novel, Catherine starts up the same conversation, but with Henry Tilney in his reaction is I have read all of Mrs. Radcliffe's work, and the most of them with great pleasure, the mysteries of Udolpho. When I had once begun it, I could not lay it down again. And I think that just shows the stark contrast between Henry Tilney and how well suited he is for Katherine, who has this same love for redcliffs work. And John Thorpe, who has no freaking clue what's going on, and obviously hasn't read a book in his life.
Yeah, the two of them are really well suited. And there's a big thing in North anger that I've read about. Because I did my undergrad dissertation on Jane Austen. And the three I looked at how her novels are kind of like women's history, because she's recording even though they're fictional, those sorts of things would have been the daily lives of women in that era. And I looked at North anger, persuasion, and Mansfield Park. And she does a big defence of the novel as a form of writing within North anger. And it's so fascinating, because in this era, kind of novels were seen as like a lesser form of literature. Whereas now, obviously, novels are the main form of literature that people consume. But poetry had so much of like a higher standing, I guess, in the literary sphere. And through Tildy, who everyone loves, and Catherine loves, who's a brilliant character, she really really defends the novel. And you see, I mean, Catherine takes some of the books, she reads a little bit too seriously, which I'm sure we'll talk about. But who cares, she's really enjoying it and she often shows the value of something that enjoyable and engaging and how it kind of bring people together and In one, this was the first novel that she wrote, even though it was published so much later. It really shows how she's like defending her own form of literature. And I absolutely love that about this book.
Izzy Meakin 10:09
Yeah, almost shows you that why she was inspired to start writing this in the first place. Like she says, I love this five narrative to the extent that I'm willing to start writing myself. And I think that's, I think that's such a beautiful thing about this book. I think some people it does frustrate them because the narrative is, it's almost metafiction in a sense, because you feel like Jane Austen's presence or you feel the presence of the narrator. Should I say so much in the book that it's, I think there's some people that can be kind of uncomfortable to read at times. But I just love it. Because I do think it's, it's kind of her love letter to the novel, in a sense, who knew that she'd go on and she'd write so many and, and be more famous in the end. And I'd wrote an Radcliffe who was actually, you know, kind of the Jane Austen at the time.
Yeah, so um, Rackleff was really famous in her era, wasn't she, and people really enjoyed her books. And I don't know how many she wrote in the end. Obviously, I've only read this one. But I definitely would would look into others now because it was so entertaining. And it's really interesting to read texts that influenced Austen. So I read Evelina by Francis Burnie last year. And I really, really enjoyed that. And it was great to see how Austen took these elements of influence and really put her own mark on them. So obviously, you know, Fang is the only one where we really get the Gothic. And she is kind of mocking it because by this point, the novel had kind of moved on a little bit, and Gothic was less the focus and literature. But I love how she does it while still paying homage to it. She's not, she's not completely mocking it. And obviously, as we now both know, having finished Rudolfo there's actually nothing really supernatural there all gets tidied up really well. Yeah, wild, but really well.
Izzy Meakin 11:53
Still crazy. Yeah, no, I know. Absolutely.
Yeah. And I think part of her defence comes from the fact that women writers were writing novels that were for women. And this was quite a new thing. There were women writers, obviously, before this era, but not have the same popularity, and not have the same kind of genres. And it's really nice that obviously, there's there's a lot of male characters in new danfo. But the main heroine is a heroine, and she's brilliant. And I think if you're a young woman reading that, in that era, you'd be really inspired by that, even though a lot of crazy stuff happens. I think it's so nice to see women writing literature and being at the centre of it as well, especially for a reader.
Izzy Meakin 12:35
Yeah, absolutely. Basically, the novel is set in France to start with later in Italy. And then it goes back to France and we follow Emily who is the heroine of the story. And when the novel starts, she lives with both of her parents in their estate and France, and she's living a pretty simple and pleasant life. So I'll run through some elements that are considered Gothic tropes before we start and then at the end, we can see how many ticks off through the mysteries of Udolpho. So Gothic tropes or motifs that I have kind of found when I've been like researching it is a haunted house, the supernatural ghosts witches, dark atmosphere, dark and stormy night, mysterious stranger, the dark and brooding hero or heroine, romance, the grotesque purses, secret societies, a mad scientist, mysteries and intrigue, death, decay, madness, or persecution and victimisation. So there's a lot on there. But you will be happy to know that you'd also just tick off quite a lot of them. So I need a supporting document to go with this episode. As I recognise it, it may get confused as we talk about what's going on in your phone, because it's such a long book, and we're trying to condense it down into like a summary, but we're going to try our best to talk through it all. So the documents will be on my website and I'll attach it at the bottom of this episode so that you're able to find it, but it just might be helpful to like see it alongside this episode. So let's move on to Udall pho there's some really funny stuff in volume one, right? Well, a lot of like crazy stuff does happen in volume one she loses both of her parents who both of their parents die not at the same time her mom dies first. She almost gets kind of a premonition that she's going to pass away doesn't she she starts to get this like bad feeling that she's going to die. And you want to talk about like the beach hot.
Yeah. So on their estate, they have this fishing heart. And they regularly visit there they go on nature walks in things and you're right I totally see. She I feel like I'm Ratcliffe brings together the romantic form of literature and the Gothic form of literature really well in this novel, even when there's quite Gothic scenes and we're quite in the middle of that later in the novel. When they go to Tuscany and things you get that romance coming back in through as in capital or romance. There is also lowercase romance in the novel as well which we'll get to, but they have this fishing heart that they regularly miss it. And Emily keeps finding like bits of poetry written for her there I'm from like a strange man and she doesn't know who they are. And she, her mother loses picture of Emily there as well. And her mother has some sort of premonition that like, this is a bad omen, and something bad's gonna happen. Which actually is, is very true. Because from that moment on, a lot of bad stuff happens to Emily and her family and she, you're actually loses both her parents. And then it's really the loss of her father that kind of really kicks off all the drama in the novel.
Izzy Meakin 15:30
Absolutely. So she loses her mom. And then the doctor prescribes that her and her father should take a trip is a way of mourning and moving on from the death of her mom and his wife. So they take this trip and I'm not gonna lie to you it's the worst plan trip ever. It's they don't have enough food they've not like planned anywhere to stay there really have a good idea of where they're headed in. So they set off in that they kind of just have to keep like, turning up at places and hoping they can stay and eat food donate. It's so weird. But this is when a lot of all this like nature description comes in, because they're travelling for you know, beautiful landscapes in France. Emily writes poems herself, so she's very in tune with nature and feelings. And she literally writes probably like three poems, every chapter, maybe not that much, but it's a lot.
Yeah, yeah, I feel like it sets up really nicely or the night I really liked nature writing and I thought some of it was really well done. And you can tell that Emily's really in tune with that. And one thing I noticed a lot is that relationship with nature really comes from her dad. And I actually really liked him as a character. And even though he passes away in the first volume, his memory kind of lingers through the whole book. And quite often when when she comes across a beautiful scene of nature, again, she thinks of her God and the relationship they had that was built on that. And I think that's such a special element. And those small scenes that kind of bring you out of the Gothic a little bit later in the novel, kind of grounds me again in like the memories of what she did have and kind of some level of hope for the future because she's obviously in quite a dark situation for most of the novel, the joint relationship they both have with nature, her and her dad is really valuable to her and she definitely kind of treasures that throughout the novel. Yeah, I
Izzy Meakin 17:17
totally agree. And as they journey on they come across this kind of stranger on the road. And this guy becomes pretty significant when you first get introduced to him you're like, What on earth is this guy doing? He's kind of just appears like a homeless person, doesn't he? And this is this is Vaillancourt invalid call it's gonna be important he's gonna keep popping up literally popping up. The grill did not do this is their first encounter with him. And nothing too remarkable happens but they form a really good friendship him her dad and Emily all together like they get a really strong bond falling cord is also very in love with nature and poetry. And it almost is kind of Marianne Willoughby vibes. But in the in the times when that relationship is good before will be obviously we find out about all of us past and everything. So that's the sense I got anyway, she in fact, Emily, just give me very Marianne vibes.
Yeah, I would completely agree with that. You can also see how certain sensibility was one of her earlier novels, because vallencourt and Emily are very similar, like you say to whether it be in Marianne, definitely in that those early days when they're rambling the hills a lot, and he's bringing her poetry and things like that, when they're in the cottage in sensibility. And like, you can definitely I kind of see that the baby that Austen took inspiration from that element as well. Obviously, she villain heist will be a lot more unveiling, who does have his ups and downs. And he is a very, very dramatic character. Emily's quite dramatic as well, but she's actually less dramatic when she's away from him. I feel like when she's with him, that kind of sensibility element is so strong together. And they're always like declaring their love and writing each other with poems and songs. And it's, it's very dramatic.
Izzy Meakin 19:09
Yeah, and also every time they have to separate is like a massive deal. It's like the whole world's gonna end see one of the funniest first moments and probably the first kind of interesting thing that happens is vallencourt goes off. He's going somewhere entirely different to them. So they part ways in vallencourt goes off and then they continue on this journey, her and her father, and then suddenly they start to hear rustling in the bushes around them. And visually what it is in there they're really concerned obviously that it might be like thieves or something so could dad picks up his good and he just kind of shoots out into the dark because he can hear this person that and he hits someone and that person turns out to be vallencourt falling forward did not go when he said he was he just appears again.
The amount of times that he just randomly pops up it actually baffled me like that. There's a time when he's just she's like walking in the garden. He's suddenly there. And it he, he was a very entertaining character, I wouldn't really say, I wasn't really invested in the two of them, their love story in terms of like I didn't, I wasn't like, I really want them to be together. I just wanted to see more of him because they were absolutely hilarious,
Izzy Meakin 20:20
literally seems like it's kind of Vaillancourt signature move is popping up in places where he shouldn't be. And he often says he's leaving, and he's going somewhere else, only for him to still be in the area and basically living in the bushes. And this isn't like a poor random guy, like he's from an established family, and he has somewhere to go. But he just keeps living like just in the wilderness so that he can jump out on Emily. And there's so many times in the novel where she she thinks is supernatural stuff because she she's walking around and she can hear all this rustling and she can hear noises. I mean, the amount of times he does that. I don't know why she doesn't learn that it's him because it's literally ridiculous. He does it so often. And it is hilarious, because you'll read it. And then it's like, then there was all this noise. And then it was vallencourt. Again, you're like, Oh my god. valand. Cool. What are you doing? Why are you back
in it truly gets shot by people that are with Emily twice, first with her dad. And then again, right towards the end of the novel when she's gone back to love allay her like family, see. And she thinks she seen him in the garden one evening, but she's not sure if she's just imagined it because of all the supernatural stuff. And then she hears like two days later from Annette who's like her lady's maid, but the garden has shot someone in the garden. And it turns out that's vallencourt Again, just like skulking around the bushes is absolutely hilarious. He
Izzy Meakin 21:43
cracks me up. And so eventually vallencourt does leave and Emily's dad does pass away. But during this process, there starts to become rumours about basically a woman who was forced to marry somebody she didn't love. She died in like mysterious circumstances. So they're in this kind of cottage staying with these just random people because that's how that this this whole road trips go in. And they they start to hear about this in Emily's father is heavily affected by this, it makes me think back to a time when she sees her dad kind of soaking in like a closet reading letters. And he has this picture of this woman in she just thinks like maybe you know, he seems very affected by this. But she doesn't put two and two together. But they there is kind of reference of both at the same time. But she can't kind of think of a way that those two could be related. And then as her dad is dying, he requests that Emily burn the letters and get rid of Well, I don't think he meant does he mention the picture?
No, I don't think he does. He says for her to get rid of the letters. And that with it. Where they are is like some money that will keep her safe. And I don't remember that. I think Emily finds a picture. And she thinks I've seen this before.
Izzy Meakin 23:01
Yeah, yeah. So when she dies, she goes back to the house in which she lives and she does events, she does burn the papers. But she reads like one line of them. She doesn't tell us is the reader what she sees. And she also just says that the picture looks familiar, but we don't know who it is. So and that's a very common theme in this book. There'll be unfinished sentence. In a sense, when it comes to elements that they bring in, they'll bring something up and we'll be like, Oh my gosh, what is it in you just won't know that this is where we wouldn't be explained. But we shall keep referring back to it.
Which I think was helpful because there was so many mysteries. I liked that they were reference throughout even if you didn't find out the answer till the end. It was like oh, yeah, we don't know about that. Because so much goes on. Those little reminders really helped me remember all the mysteries we were waiting to have unravelled. And I think it made it kind of more exciting. And then they started to kind of interlink a little bit. And then at the end, the reveal was, I thought really good actually, I think everything was wrapped up really nicely. And I was really happy with how it all turned out.
Izzy Meakin 24:03
Yeah, absolutely. I agree. So this marks the point, the turning point just before they go to dark folks. So basically what happens is Emily's aren't turns up because Emily basically needs a new guardian, because she's still I guess, kind of classed as being like, underage or because she's on marriage she needs kind of somebody to look after. So aren't turns up to do this. And aren't isn't very nice to start with. And you kind of get Mrs. Norris vibes from it. And you're thinking, Oh, this could be like a real bad situation for Emily now. And this goes on for quite a while and there's guests turning up to the house. And one of these guests is muntoni. He just turned up to their house, right and this is how it happens. And then basically her on that one day just says I'm married to muntoni and this kind of comes out of the blue in, she says and we're all going to go live in New Dolpo which is my montonius house and that's an Italy
Yeah, so she her aunt had agreed for her to marry vallencourt After lots of debates, because Van Winkle still been pursuing Emily. And then because she now marries Montaigne, and he wants to go back to Italy. She's like, Oh, you're not doing that. Now you need to say goodbye, we're leaving. So she's not a fan. Art is very selfish. And she has a lot of judgement against me, which is actually very unfounded even though valid cause a bit dramatic. Emily never does anything untoward with him. She just she just falls for him. And then all the drama properly kicks off, doesn't it when they get to Italy, and they start off in Venice, and there's a small bit of drama there. But it's when they get to the castle. If you don't feel that it really gets. That's when the Gothic properly ramps up. There's like kind of hints before that, but that's when I would say the Gothic really kicks off doesn't it in in volume two.
Izzy Meakin 25:51
She often pause to examine the Gothic magnificence of you Dolpo. Its proud irregularity is lofty towers and battlements, its high arched casements and its slender watch towers perched upon the corners of tourists. Yeah. Do you want to chat about what happens when they get to us all? Whoa,
yeah. So they get to the castle. And it hasn't been lifting for like 20 years, I think so muntoni had a relation who he inherited because she disappeared. And they never found her body or anything. And he, I think it had been like enough time now that they were like, well, she's obviously either dead or not coming back. So you know, inherit. So they go, they like move there. But they moved there really quickly. And I think like, he's also hiding one of his friends who's like a murderer in the castle, which kind of that that was a bit random. And I forgot that plot was going on some of the time because there was so much happening. And then when they get there, he's really controlling and he's trying to get her odd to sign over all of her estates to him. Which means that Emily would then lose out on a lot of stuff. And all the Gothic stuff really kicks off when they get to the castle.
Izzy Meakin 27:00
Yeah, there's loads of references to the place being haunted. And this is when and net really comes in the scene, which is her lady's maid, who despite being a lady's maid plays such a significant role in this book. She's almost like the sidekick and she is hilarious.
I absolutely loved it. She talks so fast, you always have so much to say. And there's so many really funny bits, where the narrator tells us that something has made Emily faint again, or she's not really worth it. The amount of characters that fade in this novel is, yeah, there's so many of them. But there will be something really dramatic has happened to me like when she finds the black veil, and she's trying to deal with it. And then that's just talking and talking and talking and Emily's not listening at all but and that just keeps going.
Izzy Meakin 27:46
Absolutely and and that's kind of the person that really inspires all this kind of supernatural thought and Emily's mind to start with basically, there's like rumours that the place is haunted.
Yes, so the previous owner was a woman who I don't think she ever married, did she? Even though muntoni had kind of pursued her for a while I think they were like distantly related. But she was not interested. She she'd like loved someone before who had then left. So they said that the story is that she went walking one evening and just never came back. So there's kind of rumours that muntoni had her killed or killed her himself so that he would then inherit the castle. But nobody was ever found. So they're not sure if like the ghost of the previous owner who's Lauren teeny, like kind of roams the castle. And you find out more about it later on. But that's the initial thing where you're like, did he did he kill her to get away once and then Emily has the fear that she might do the same, he might do the same to her arm, and then potentially to her. So a lot of the fear comes from is he a murderer? Has he and for a while she doesn't know where her art is. So she they have a big disagreement and her art gets locked away but Emily thinks that she might be dead.
Izzy Meakin 29:00
Yeah, absolutely. So there's loads that goes on in this this part in in Udall fo very much the servants are spreading it like seeing all these rumours about them being it being haunted by this previous owner, Emily starting to do a lot of exploring as a castle and she's finding things that don't make sense to her. One of the things is this black veil, in she pulls the black veil down one evening, and she faints, but as readers, we have no idea what she sees behind this black veil. Okay, Emily passed on with filtering steps and having paused a moment at the door before she attempted to open it. She then hastily entered the chamber and went to the picture, which appeared to be enclosed in a frame of uncommon size that hung in a dark part of the room. She paused again and then with a timid hand lifted the veil, were instantly let it fall, perceiving that what it had concealed was no picture and before she could leave the chamber she dropped senseless on the floor. And so you kind of assume that she's found like a dead body or a skeleton or something of this previous owner or ghost. Will you kind of think it's maybe something related to the fact that the place is meant to be haunted. I did also kind of thing I thought she may be pulled it down and it was like a Dorian Grey kind of thing. And she saw like a really terrifying painting at one point. That's what he thought maybe she'd seen. So she says it's not a painting, but then I think maybe it's just not a painting in the way that she knows paintings that maybe it's just like a supernatural. I wasn't too sure on that. It is a big mystery. And I think why it's obviously referenced in Northanger because it I think probably at the time, that would have been something that was heavily talked about, like the black veil what's behind the black veil, but it isn't we don't find out what it what's behind it for majority of the novel so that happens then her aunt disappears, but aren't starts to seem like she's going mad, which again, is like a really strong Gothic trope. There's madness. You kind of suspect them. Antonis kind of making her mad and he locks her away because of that.
Yeah, so he is really controlling. And this is a part that actually references quite well to Northanger where Catherine thinks that general tyranny is quite similar to muntoni, where he is what a lot of like theory around the novel describes the domestic tyrant. So he's really controlling, he has the power to do to any of them wherever he wants, and they have to all bend to his will. And this is called this this kind of similar situation to what Eleanor is in in Northanger Abbey because her dad is very controlling of everything she does, obviously, we find out in North anger that he's only invited Catherine to stay because he thinks that she's really wealthy because John thoughts run his mouth again. And she's not and then as soon as he finds out that she's not he kicks her out and he controls everything in that house. And montonius exactly the same in noodle flow. And he's trying to like pressure her aunt to sign over all her estates to him because he's basically broke and he's got these Bandini which are like Italian criminals going off and robbing other people's houses so that he's got some money to live off of. And it's all very dramatic and we don't know what's going to happen to her art and her or if her art is even still alive when she goes missing so that bit was very intense and dramatic and then when he can't really trust anyone apart from an IT
Izzy Meakin 32:07
and she's like it parts you get so paranoid because it there was times when I started thinking oh my gosh what I'm safe and nets in on all of this in she's just like trying to pretend to be Emily's friend and actually you know she knows everything that's going on because there are these really dodgy people walking around the castle these criminals and like you said aren't disappears and Emily searching for in the castle because she doesn't know where she is. And then one of these like, really creepy servants comes to her and he's like montonius given me your answers like a prisoner in it's like a really creepy moments and he won't speak he's like, I won't tell you any more unless you meet me privately. In this room at this point it I thought that was like really scary. I was like, oh my goodness, like and she thinks he's gonna murder her but she wants to know what's happened to her and so badly that she's willing to take the risk and go meet this servant who's kind of said that he's keeping a prisoner and he says like the montonius Let her be my personal prisoner that I can like do what I want with her. Which is really pretty terrifying. But Emily goes in to kind of see where her aunt is and it all kind of transpires the arms isn't dead but it's really sick in montonius kind of put her in this other area and Yemeni is weird because this is the thing people in Emily's life just keep dying in. I don't think there's really any explanation. It's kind of like there's something just bad in the air that they just keep becoming really sick and dying.
Yeah, well her arm gets moved to like Is it like the East Tara or something which everyone says is like really damp and not very like well looked after. And I think there aren't kind of like her nerves go as well where she's been under so much pressure. And even though she's not always the most loving to Emily, she's really adamant that she wants me to have a better future and to inherit all of her status she doesn't back down at all from Antone and then eventually her aren't dies. And Emily's like, actually quite upset by them because she's come to care for a bit more than she did previously. And then she's then stuck with muntoni with no real protector.
Izzy Meakin 34:11
Absolutely still fair in that the place is haunted because there's still loads of stuff going on, like noises on the stairs and her bedrooms unlocked without her consent, and she doesn't know how it got unlocked and all of this law and she hears all these these people, doesn't she and I just want to reference back to what you were saying about the links to North anger in the fact that muntoni is similar to general Tilney Catherine in North anger actually makes a comment to that. When she's thinking about general Tilney and how he treated his wife. She actually says it was the heir and attitude of muntoni. And so a lot of what Catherine thinks about general Tilney is very much generated from her reading the book in the treatment of Emily's aren't by muntoni Because he is this like dominating figure and obviously that's the same concept of is this person dead or alive because there's a part where Catherine's considering me A general Tony's wife is still alive and he's just holding her prisoner. And that's very much the same elements that come up in Udall fo is, this is his personal life. Are they a prisoner? We're not sure. Basically, during this whole process of Emily being you Dolpo it's almost like every other man falls in love with her for no reason at all. There's a moment when a god grabs her by the arm and declares his love for her. And he's like, you know, basically is like, run away with me. We can be together, which really freaks me out, understandably. And she's like, terrified that she's, you know, vulnerable in this room on her own. There's also another character who wants to Marya Cal Maroney who comes up but then disappears quite quickly. But he basically feels betrayed by Miss muntoni that he can't marry Emily in He's creeping around the castle. And he actually goes into her bedroom doesn't and she's like, terrified. She's like, Oh, my God, what are you doing in here? And he's like, I just don't want it to see you. And just need to say that. You've been doing that a couple of times.
Yeah, so she her room is really weird. Like they call it like her chamber. And she's got a door that goes out onto the corridor, which she can lock. But there's like a weird other door that has a staircase that is only lockable from the other side. So she can't actually lock people out of her room from this weird staircase. So her and Annette have spent a lot of time moving furniture in front of it. But initially, she thinks she'll be fine. And that's when they can't count murano like appears in her room in the middle of the night, and she's really really scared. And then there's a big, dramatic sword fight scene. There's so many dramatic sword fight scenes with cat muntoni involved. And basically, Murano says to her like, You're not safe here with muntoni. He's, he's dangerous man. We think he's a murderer. And that's when all the intrigue from that comes. And then you don't really see Murano after that because you get stabbed, and then he leaves.
Izzy Meakin 36:50
Yeah, basically, he disappears then. But that also explains some of the supernatural elements that Emily's been feeling. So all of this, like the noises on the stairs. And the creeping around actually turns out that it was most likely Kent Morona, Moroni, and also, there's another person that comes up so she starts to hear music. And music plays a really significant role in this book, it comes up a lot. And it basically is seen as like an omen of death. So like, if they hear this music, it means there's like something bad's coming, or deaths come in, and she starts to hear this music again. But she thinks is vallencourt Doesn't she? She says
that because it's like songs from her native Gascony. They could be him because he's like, played them before. And then she's trying to find out from Ludovico who's another one of the servants who are net basically wants to marry in the future, if they have any French prisoners, because the French and the times were fighting a bit and then come on, Tony had captured some so Ludovico tries to find out who he is, and he won't tell him his name. And they keep seeing him on the ramparts at night. But people think it's like a spirit. So some of the guards have been like fainting, and getting really scared, and they're getting more worried about the supernatural. And then it turns out, it's actually this Baron de Pon, who is not compelling colour at all, but has also been stalking Emily. And you said, the one who wrote the poems and stole her picture from the fishing heart was him, which is so bizarre. I've never met
Izzy Meakin 38:20
him before. Yeah, we never met him. And this was like, way back in volume one before her mom dies, all of this stuff happens in this stock of BS II says it's coincidental that he ends up in Udall fo but I'm just like, that's really coincidental that you ended up here. But then he says, like, Oh, I heard you were staying. So I thought I'd just wander the castle and, you know, try and see you like I've been doing in the past. But she has no idea who he is right? And he just declares that he's like, madly in love with that.
Yeah, he says that he's from the same place as her. And he's, like, seen her before. But he was told that he couldn't pursue her by his family or something, because I don't, I'm very confused by that whole thing. So random, but he turns out to actually be relatively nice, even though he's a bit creepy. Like he doesn't do anything threatening to Emily. He's one of the few men that actually listens to the fact that she's, she's not interested in them. And he kind of tries to pursue her lightly without being too like, salon.
Izzy Meakin 39:15
Which, which is nice, because a lot of them literally are really full on and they like grab her and just felt like I'm in love with you. You should be with me.
Yeah, he's a lot more understanding. And once she's met him, they kind of plan a big escape from Rudolfo to get her back to France and away from Italy and from Antone who's trying to get all of her arts properties now from her because she's inherited them, and he's making threats and things to her. So like their big Escape Plan happens, and Ludovico and Annette come along with them.
Izzy Meakin 39:50
Absolutely. And I will say as well at this point in the novel. There's a weird mid chapter which happens just randomly, and basically we get an insight What's going on with Vaillancourt? Because at this point, Emily's still longing for Vaillancourt she thinks they're going to be together upon them parting ways, there's a really dramatic scene and valen Cortes, like almost beside himself that they're going to separate. And he says montonius evil and all of this before they go to your dolphin. So basically, we get this weird chapter then that says, This is what's going on with valand Cole while he's while you guys have been away, and it says that he's basically like party in and out of all these people. And you kind of it kind of gets that will it be sense again, almost when she goes Miss Grey, and I genuinely I was like, wow, that's it. He's just gone off with this rich woman. And that's, that's kind of it. And that's how you feel. But Emily doesn't know any of this. So Emily's still longing for him. And she's, she's planning for their future. Still. That's why she doesn't want to give my muntoni the properties is because she wants them for her and Vaillancourt. But anyway, back to the bigger scope. So they plan this big escape from Adolfo.
Yeah, so they travel through Tuscany, and to Pisa. They get on a big ship. And then the plot jumps back to France and you meet a different count in his family. So he's got a wife who's like the stepmom of his two kids honoree and Blanche, and you kind of get to know them a little bit. And they're living in the biggest day where Emily and her dad went in, right before he died because he dies in like, does he start in the convent? He gets buried in the convent doesn't he and the Abba there kind of does like the rites and things for him.
Izzy Meakin 41:25
And he wants to be buried next to this like random person, I think, yeah, there's like this random graven. He's like, I want to be buried next to that, which Emily thinks is weird, but she doesn't look into it.
Yeah, but we find which is common for Emily. There's so many odd things happen. And Emily doesn't think that much of it. So all the Gothic stuff, she's really concerned about the fact that all these creepy guys keep just turning up and falling her everywhere doesn't really seem to faze her, which was really entertaining.
Izzy Meakin 41:52
Like part of me was thinking I was like, I feel like Emily's like a bad omen in itself. Because if you don't die in then you fall in like weirdly in love with her to the extent that you kind of lose your mind a little bit. So
yeah, she was a very interesting character. But the cow and his family moved back into this bigger state that they haven't lived in for years, and they want to live there for the last 20 years. And he wants to come back and kind of get to know it. And you get to know their family a little bit and they're settling in. And then they see like a ship and there's a really big storm. And they're worried that the ship's gonna get wrecked. So his staff go down and like flashlights and things so they don't. And then the people on the ship are Emily, and DuPont and Ludovico as well,
Izzy Meakin 42:38
surprise, surprise, they just appear on the ship. I feel like these are the things that George RR Martin needs. It's like how do you get characters from one place to another quickly? Well, they just appear randomly on a ship,
I think. Yes, they just kind of like appear back in this place where Emily's been before. And the convent, there was the confidence she was planning to go and stay in while she trapped down while and call. She's not actually going to become a nun, but she can take shelter there. And she really appreciated how calm they were when her father passed away when they're in this area before and then a lot more Gothic stuff happens when she gets to this new castle. I don't remember the name of it.
Izzy Meakin 43:13
I can't remember the name of this one. But yeah, you're right, you get super Gothic. And there's like, really intense fears about this woman that disappeared. Because there's another woman who disappeared. There's the woman that disappeared from Adolfo. And then there's another woman who disappeared from this particular Castle, which is the one that when her dad dies, he gets really upset when he hears about this story. But nobody knows why he gets upset by it.
Yeah, he's like, because, as we said earlier, their journey is a complete mess at the beginning with her dad, they end up in this era. And he seems to kind of recognise the castle but not want to speak about it with Emily. So she's kind of left intrigued. But she's more focused on her dad and her grief. And then this is where they end up. And she goes to stay with the account and his family. And they're actually really lovely. And they're really welcoming to me. He becomes quite good friends with blanch his daughter and the like housekeeper off the house. Starts to say like, Oh, you look so much like my former mistress who died here. And you kind of there's then a new mystery that starts to unravel about why this house was abandoned for so long. Why people think it's haunted. And you've got the music element there again, where they keep hearing this strange music like that, and they don't know where it's coming from which she'd also heard when they'd been there. That was her dad. And that was omen for his death.
Izzy Meakin 44:35
Yeah, absolutely. So she starts hearing this music again. The people are really terrified that there's a ghost like even the count like he's a really good figure in Emily's life. I think he thinks someone that she really needs because he's almost like a Mr. Allen in Northanger Abbey where he's like, I'm going to tell you what I think is right and wrong. And I'll let you make your own choices. But I'm going to try and guide you of what I think is going to be the best direction but you never force anything upon a light Monitor. On your her aren't dead. He's just kind of like the supportive figure in Yeah, you're right that housekeeper she she's it's almost like in Rebecca when the housekeepers kind of obsessed with her former mistress. It's kind of in a similar way, but this woman's not evil in any way. She's just, she's just like misses her. And she's like, Oh, I miss her so much. And she used to sing and she was so so sad. This is the whole thing. Again, it comes up this story about this woman who was in love with somebody in the past, wasn't able to marry them and had to marry for money. And she was really miserable with her husband.
Yeah. And Emily gets really intrigued with this story because she sees a picture. And it's the same woman from the picture that her dad had earlier on that she found when she found the letters. So she's like, How has my dad ended up with this picture of this woman? So she starts like asking the housekeeper to give her more information. And a housekeeper really doesn't want to talk about it. But they make a deal with me. It's like I promise, I won't tell anyone. It's just for my own peace of mind. And she takes her to visit the chamber where like her name, Mistress died back 20 years previously, and it's been locked up ever since. And they're in there. And she tells a story of her death and how they thought it was quite suspicious and they weren't sure if she died naturally, or if something could happen to her. And then like, the covers start to move, and they think they see a apparition and they both get really spooked and they run away. And then all the servants hear about it. So they're all like screaming and running around the house. So Ludovico, who is one of the servants has come with Emily who's again like courting Annette, is that like, Well, I'm not scared. I'll set up the night in there. So he does so in the counts, like, thank you so much. If you have any problems, come and get me No problem. I'm sure you'll be fine. And then the next morning, he's gone. But Ludovico is nowhere to be found. And we see him later on. But at the time, it's another big mystery about how has someone else vanished from this space?
Izzy Meakin 46:53
Yeah. And I think at this point, like I definitely started to buy into the supernatural. I was thinking, okay, there's definitely like some woman's died there. And she's like haunting them. And it's really spooky. And now she's like stealing people away, I will say, I'm gonna let you move on and carry on with the kind of the supernatural and the pictures and everything. But before that, there is somebody who arrives at this place. So basically, Vaillancourt turns up at this this place, because they're kind of hosting people, I think, or they're hosting people nearby. And Voland Claus is one of these people. And the count this new count, he says, you know, oh, I don't think you should still, you know, be considered invalid call. I've heard these rumours that he's been gambling. And he's kind of involved with these, like rich women and everything. And Emily is like mortified. She's like, Oh, my goodness, I'm devastated in a Vaillancourt opens this, since he scenery has been absolutely delighted. He's like, Emily. Oh, my gosh, I still love you. I'm so glad that you're here again. But I don't know about you, Martha. But I started to think like, oh, no, this is a true Willoughby situation. And Emily's, like, really adamant that she's can't be with him anymore. And she's devastated about it. But she says to him, like, Please leave me. I can't be with you. Because you've done all this stuff. And it's kind of ruined everything.
Yeah, so she, she's really upset because she feels like he would ruin her. And she's been through so much. And she just wants someone that's a bit more stable, even though she does still love him. But one thing that I thought was really interesting was, she never actually tells him what she's heard. She kind of goes to and he's like, he thinks she's referring to something else. So he's like, Oh, I'm not worthy of you. I'm not worthy of you. So she's like, well, obviously, you've done all these things that I've heard, but they never actually have a proper conversation about it. Because like a miscommunication element there, which causes a lot of drama for both of them. And at this point, she thinks she's staying in the monastery still, and she doesn't know what to do. And she's really conflicted and she starts to turn to the counter. It's kind of like a new father thing. It doesn't she a bit like you said with Mr. Allen from North anger, because he's, he literally has her best interests at heart. And he is genuinely one of the nicest male characters that we meet in the whole novel.
Izzy Meakin 49:04
Yeah, absolutely. In he's pretty much certain that he doesn't think that she should marry vallencourt vallencourt keeps trying even though Emily keeps saying no, he does keep coming back. And he's he's so dramatic. He's like, Emily, I love you. Please don't do this to me. I'm so sad about everything. Like how can I make him that like he's, he's a dramatic person.
Yeah, he is very dramatic throughout the whole novel, but he is very entertaining. So alongside so that she's got all of the whole Gothic elements going on what's happening in this house, how are people disappearing, plus the whole of the person who I thought I was coming home to Mary has basically done really bad things that I don't think I can live with. Not like murder or anything, but he's like lost loads of money and he's got these she's been told she's got he's got massive debts. And it's been like messing around in like gambling houses in Paris and things and got thrown into jail at one point and his brother had to get him out. And she used is really, really short and she just has so much to deal with. Like she's really struggling and then she gets, she's still at the monasteries. And she and she gets told that one of the nuns there who's been like going mad, wants to is dying and wants to speak with her. And then there's even more drama at that point. And then we started to get like the actual reveals finally.
Izzy Meakin 50:25
Yeah, absolutely. So do you want to talk about I don't know, what's the best order? It's probably best to start with the none first, but what she explains,
yeah, so she goes along, and this nun is dying and is not fully there with her with her mind. And she thinks that Emily is someone that she knew before. And she gets really, really worked up and really scares the nun. And she's like, how can you be here? How can you be here? Like, I killed you? How can you be here?
Izzy Meakin 50:56
And then she's like, this is This is punishment that you're you've appeared to me?
Yeah. And she gets really confused. And then Emily, when Emily starts to talk to her, she's like, Oh, you're not who I thought you were. You look so much like the Marquess de Valois, which is the woman who died in the house, the castle nearby that Emily visited the chamber, and the Chamber seems to be haunted. And it turns out that the nun is actually Lauren teeny, who ran away from Rudolfo. All those years ago, the person that she loved was the previous owner of the castle near this nunnery. But they never married and he came home to marry someone else. She then followed him and then between them, they like murdered his wife. And then they were both then so disgusted with themselves after that she they never got together. And she ended up in the nunnery and he left, and then no one came back to this castle for like the last 20 years. So that warranty need from you know, what was never dead. She ran off to follow this guy. And it's been living as a nun for the last 20 years. So that kind of solves that mystery. So we actually
Izzy Meakin 52:03
because of the other mystery, yeah. So
it turns out that this is quite interesting, actually, from like, a gender theory perspective, like she's a full of women. And actually, we thought he was a victim, but the whole time she was actually the antagonists. So you know,
Izzy Meakin 52:19
she's almost like a Lady Macbeth as well, because she's really manipulative. She's almost an ear worm in this guy's head. And she's constantly saying, like, she's trying to make him jealous and stuff, isn't she and she's saying, the only way we can be together is if you get rid of your wife and your wife's and all these awful things, when in fact, this woman who Emily is supposedly meant to look like and this woman who dies was actually meant to be really lovely. And just like a nice person who wanted to marry for love, but ended up marrying for money instead, because her family made her.
Yeah, so all this drama then starts to unfold and then and then dies. And Emily's left thinking, How do I look like this woman and the non Ted towel, she must have been your mother. But obviously Emily is like, well, I know who my mother and father are. And then she basically finds out that the Marquess of our Who's the woman who was murdered 20 years ago, and in their castle nearby to where she's staying was actually her her dad sister. So another one of her aunt's, because he was so heartbroken by what happened. He like kept it from her and didn't want her to know about it. And wouldn't let anyone else tell her that she had this other art that had passed away before she was born. And it was all it all wrapped up really nicely. And I thought it was really interesting the whole time, we were terrified that muntoni was the murderer. And actually, the woman that we thought was his victim was actually a murderer herself.
Izzy Meakin 53:40
I know. Oh my gosh, she was also like, really wild as well as I spent the majority of the novel thinking that this this woman who died was meant to be Emily's mum, because he had these letters in this image and you cried over the photo, I thought he must be the person that she wanted to marry who we couldn't, she couldn't marry in they must have like, had a child together or something. And that's why the other husband killed her or something. That's what I was kind of thinking. But I just the the actual conclusion is so much better than anything I could have thought up.
Yeah, it was really clever. And it wrapped everything up really well when it all made sense. And it cleaned up all these little things that we had. And you also find out about the black veil mystery, which actually when you hear about is quite, it's quite minor, but you can see why she was so scared. When she's had all these tales in her head. She's in a house where she still feels threatened by muntoni. And she walked into this weird room that had been locked up before but it was unlocked on this day. And she pulls the veil and she finds like a wax body
Izzy Meakin 54:41
and it's decaying. She thinks that's Lauren's Heaney under this veil like her corpse rotting and decaying which obviously we know wouldn't make sense because of how long ago she was meant to have died but she that's what she thinks it is. And there's these worms in it and it's like really gross and I mean that's like totally Gothic isn't it a decaying body and underneath the veil, but All comes out that actually the thing that she found was this wax bigger that was decaying, but obviously it's not a human. So it's not quite as bad. But I just thought it was so funny and so random. I was like, That was hilarious that it was just like this was like a mannequin just behind the thing. We're working on it.
Yeah. And it showed, like, how affected she was because she never ever ventured back to look again, if she'd done so she probably would have been a bit more rational than like, oh, it's works. But when she was just so scared the whole time, she wouldn't even talk about it with anyone.
Izzy Meakin 55:30
I know. And it was like, I think a part of me was frustrated. We didn't find out for so long what was behind it. But also, it was great because it left you as a reader space to basically do the same thing as Emily was doing where you kind of start thinking, Oh, my gosh, it could be this. It could be that I don't know what it is, but it's definitely not good. And it's definitely supernatural. Because you can't think of a logical, non supernatural reason that it would be so terrifying. So you start to think about all the things that it could be and like, I mean, Katherine in Northanger Abbey, she thinks it's our own Teenies body behind the thing. And obviously, that's what Emily thinks that is, that wasn't the first thing that came to my mind, though. I don't it was one of my options. It wasn't the first.
I didn't really know what it was. I wonder if you when you said about The Picture of Dorian Grey type thing, I wonder if it was like a really horrifying painting because she thinks and she keeps mentoring mentioning the picture that and that's talked about of Lauren teeny. And Annette keeps going on about this painting that she seen. And Emily's like was it behind the black veil so heavily is trying to work out what a net seen and what she seen.
Izzy Meakin 56:37
Yeah, yeah, maybe that's why I thought that link but then and that goes and takes her to the actual painting at which point I was like maybe it's a mirror image where this one of them's worse. Haskin the other one's not?
Yeah, I think it was definitely really clever in the sense that the whole time he thought is this actually supernatural? And there was always a reason behind everything. And I thought it was so cleverly worked out and I wouldn't have guessed any of that stuff. And it all wrapped up quite nicely for Emily which she deserves blessing she's been for a rough time.
Izzy Meakin 57:09
Oh my god yeah. She loses basically everybody she's close to apart from fallen cool. And Annette and at the end period fell in court do you get together and and that gets married? Because oh my gosh, see about what happens to an ex partner?
Oh, yeah, so Ludovico, who went missing at the castle where the count and his family live, where Emily was saying, he then pops up later on when they're travelling. So the count and Blanche and launch his future husband are travelling through the countryside, and like the weather starts to set in. So they go along to like this little heart to like, stay there. And there's basically loads of like robbers there who are planning on killing them because they think they're gonna get turned into the police or whoever did the law enforcement in this area or in France. And Ludovico just turned loose runs in and we're like, where, where have you been for the last however many chapters and it turns out that in the chamber where the mistress of the house had died, the one who was poisoned by Lauren teeny and her ex and her husband, she, when she died there, no one was using it. And these robbers were using it to like store their their loot that they found. And they like came in one evening to put stuff down and there was Ludovico and there's like a secret passage that no one would have known about. And they basically like kidnap him. And he just appears again,
Izzy Meakin 58:37
and that's like the explanation for all the supernatural stuff in that particular castle as well because we're like, oh, well, it must have been them creeping around bringing all their like new stolen goods into the the castle is actually what everybody thought was these ghosts. And it turns out that the because they thought in that area that they were seeing this woman, the old mich mistress, her ghost walking around the gardens, but it actually turns out it was the nun Lauren's Heaney, she was walking around. She had like special permission to walk around at night. Yeah, and she
was the one that was playing the music that they kept hearing. So Lauren teeny was the one not at Rudolfo that was the Baron. But at this other Castle Florentine was the one that was playing the music. So on the evening of her dad's death, they heard this music when they were in this area, and it was her and they finally kind of everything gets uncovered. And when you say that they thought there was ghosts in that part of the castle, the robbers were doing that on purpose because he didn't want anyone to come there. They convinced people that it was haunted so that they'd be left alone. And then when the character and his family moved back in, they were like, oh, no, what do we do now?
Izzy Meakin 59:42
Yeah, I think what's super impressive about this book is it's so it's such a massive storyline. There's so many different things going on but she just so well at bringing it all together at the end and wrapping it all up in an in a way that's not disappointing because I feel like it'd be so easy for it to have been wrapped up in a way that wouldn't have been so prize in like, say that the woman ended up to be Emily's mom, I think would have been, you know, that's something maybe is something that I thought about and possibly could have been the answer. And that's what a lot of the other characters were thinking as well. But I love that it was so much darker than that with this Lauren teeny and what she did that you think the threat and the novel is these male characters because they're so domineering throughout. But actually, it turns out the biggest threat of the whole story, the person that was the cause of so much mystery, so much of the supernatural stuff turned out to be this woman who was living in the nunnery. And I just think that's, that's so cool. I really do.
Yeah, it's quite as advanced as normal. And you can totally see why men have the air. And we're really funny about women reading books like this, because it's not got the same like women, like morality rules that like society would have had. And you can totally see why, like young Jane Austen would have devoured this book and seen so many dramatic things happening. And obviously, Lauren teeny is not a good role model, but seeing someone take a different path. And obviously, she gets punished, she ends up suffering in the nunnery. She never gets to marry who she loves. And she then dies. Obviously, she dies after a while but she's, she's basically been going mad and suffered the whole time. But she still has a level of autonomy, which a lot of female characters wouldn't have had. Even if she does it in a bad way.
Izzy Meakin 1:01:24
Yeah, I thought it was a fantastic novel and there are so many Gothic tropes that we can tick off so if I go back through the list, I'm going to call out the ones that are in Rudolfo. So we have haunted houses, there are definitely a lot of haunted houses. Obviously you also is one and the other castle I can never remember the name that they go back to in France is also meant to be haunted. Obviously we know that all of its kind of explained in the end but there's definitely haunted houses the supernatural and ghost I think links into that there's definitely this fear of the supernatural and fear of ghosts in both castles and I think definitely this dark atmosphere and stormy nights definitely comes all the way through one with the the ship that they turn up on on a stormy night but also, and there's loads of scenes with her father in the woods and it's like really dark and creepy. It almost gives me Beauty and the Beast fives when she's like her father is travelling through the woods. Before he ends up at the beasts castle. It's almost kind of like that. That was the vibe that I got when I was reading it. It's kind of what I envisioned. So there's definitely like dark and stormy nights and dark atmospheres. Mysterious strange, mysterious strangers. There's definitely mysterious strangers. Vaillancourt for one, the fact that he keeps popping up randomly is absolutely hilarious, but also strange and mysterious at the start. dark and brooding heroine. Yep, absolutely. Emily takes that for sure. Romans Yes, both with a capital R and lowercase r secret societies. I'm gonna say yes to this because muntoni has like a weird group of thieves and murderers you hang out you dolphin with him. And nobody really knows what they're up to. And what's going on. This was like a secret society, I'd say. mystery and intrigue and lifts mystery and intrigue and it's wonderful. Death. There is a lot of death in this novel. Emily loses basically all of her family members. And there's a lot of death referenced as well. So yeah, there's definitely a heavy theme decay. I'm gonna say yes to this just because of the wax figure that she finds with the worms. And I think that's definitely a form of decay, and it's pretty gross. And then madness is another one. And I'm gonna say yes to this as well, because her aunt does start to go a bit muds. It's I think that's the only way to describe it. I do think it is like Martha was saying that her nerves go but there's definitely that sense of madness there. And obviously the nun who turns out to be Florentine a, she's also going mad obviously from the fact of her guilt that of her part in the murder, and then persecution and victimisation I think definitely Emily her arms, the arms who's killed all suffer by the hands of mostly men, but obviously the the arm that's killed, it's actually Lauren teeny, who's the kind of the mastermind behind that. So there's definitely a lot of persecution and victimisation in this novel, I think we only think we don't have is witches and purses and the grotesque because when I think of the grotesque I think more of like Frankenstein's monster, so I didn't really want to take that one for this novel. And I think what's great is this is actually a gothic novel, whereas Northanger Abbey is more of a satire of Gothic. So I think some of the things that were really funny is the descriptions in this notebook are really Gothic whereas in comparison to Northanger Abbey, I think one of the funniest faces when Catherine starts to she gets to North anger and she's looking around and these will be modernised because General Tilney is done like a modernization of the of the whole RV In she's like, Oh, I would just hope for heavy stonework or painted glass or dirt or cobwebs. But the difference was distressing because it's all like new and modern.
Yeah, she's got such of like the wrong expectations of where she's actually going. She hears the word Arabiya, and she thinks it's going to be haunted and creepy. And it's not at all. And she's obviously come from. This is her first big venture out into society. When she goes to off of the island, she's had quite a sheltered childhood. But obviously, Austen starts the novel by being like no one who would have seen Katherine cover more than in her youth would think she would be a heroine. So she kind of set that up with she's not your most typical heroine of a novel. And Catherine just really wants to have an adventure and she's so excited. And obviously Tilney winds her up by telling her all this stuff that's going to happen. But he is he is mocking her, not in, not in a cruel way, because he's, he's actually very lovely, and I loved him. I love Henry Tilney. But he does mock her a little bit. But I don't think he expects her to take it as far as she does in her head. Because there's a big scene where she basically confesses to him that she thinks his dad's a murderer.
Izzy Meakin 1:06:09
She says she can hear noise, someone coming up the steps. She doesn't know who it is, and she's scared. It's general Tilney. And it turns out to be Henry, she's like, What are you doing here? And he's like, Well, my dear now, what are you doing? Yeah, and
she makes any sense to him that, oh, I'm convinced that your dad murdered your mom. Because like, Isabella, Isabella, Elena wasn't here. When she died, like, obviously, he got rid of you all. And he has like a big rabbit hole basically being like, You're wrong. You've taken this book too far. And he also has this big statement about we're in England, there's this whole thing with the Gothic where nothing like this can happen in England. It's always in Italy, or France, like the other. And obviously, that we had, there was a lot of rivalries back in this era with France and Italy. So I think that was rax.
Izzy Meakin 1:07:00
He's making some little piggy noises for us. But he makes a big statement like we're in England. How can you think this would happen in England? Because obviously, that was that would never happen in England in their heads. And she makes this whole thing about how, obviously, Katherine stuff is ridiculous, because a lot of the graphic novels are set in the past and abroad. I don't know exactly when Ann Radcliffe set her novel, but it's not set in the era that she wrote it set further back in time, isn't it? And obviously, it's set in Europe with these big mountain ranges and creepy castles.
Izzy Meakin 1:07:38
Yeah. And I think what's really funny about North anger, as well as she has all these assumptions of the reasons why general Tony would be a bad guy. And then for what what his actual crime in the end, he had no idea until the end of the novel, why even sends her away, because he obviously sends away like first thing in the morning, she's not allowed any servants to help her. And it's only the fact that Eleanor gives her money that she can even afford the trip because she has no money left. So in they basically like send her off on by post, which is basically like the public transport at the time. But to travel alone as a woman would have been pretty scary and dangerous.
Yeah, she does get put in some really difficult situations. And even though general Tony is not a murderer, he is actually a threat to Katherine and her future happiness. And obviously, he puts her at risk when he sends her away on her own. and her family are really unhappy about that, because it's not a woman should not be travelling like that on her own in that era. And it's really interesting how she kind of didn't misunderstand him. Yes, he wasn't he wasn't a murderer. He didn't kill his wife. But actually, he is a threat. I think. The stuff that happens in North anger, even though there's big confusions, it's nowhere near on the level of drama. The m&e goes through, but Katherine kind of wants it to be she wants this trip to be like her big adventure, even though why she wants to go through anything Emily goes through is beyond me because everything has a horrific time of it.
Izzy Meakin 1:09:04
I feel like I have such a greater appreciation for the references that Austen makes the Northanger Abbey now now that I've read it myself once whether you mentioned muntoni, or there's a really fantastic scene where Henry Tilney says I'm trying to think of a good simile for you but and this is in reference to him having read hundreds of novels, and that he would leave anyone far behind with his list of reads over theirs. Have you read this and have you read that I'll soon leave you as far behind me as Portugal I say, I want an appropriate simile. As far as your friend Emily herself left poor vallencourt When she went with her aunt in Italy, I just love that he uses like a reference from Adolfo to kind of connect with Catherine because he knows how much he really likes that novel. I just think that's that's actually probably going to become like one of my favourite parts in Northanger Abbey. Yeah, I
really want to get back and reread Northanger now that I've read you all because I think that we quite a different experience.
Izzy Meakin 1:09:59
So So I hope you've enjoyed coming on. That's Eudald fo journey with us. And please do use the supporting documents on my website. Hopefully, you'll stick around till the end. And you've enjoyed learning about what happens and how that really does influence the plot in North manga. And it's just great to see how reckless work really influenced Jane Austen. And yeah, I really enjoyed it today. Do you want to let everybody know where they can find you?
Yeah, so I'm on Instagram, as Martha better reads. That's my Bookstagram account. I post a lot about classics, romance, all lots of different things, but a lot of classics and romance to be honest.
Izzy Meakin 1:10:40
Yeah, yeah, I always post a lot of that. And yeah, that's where I am. I also have a tick tock account, but I don't post as much on there. But I do have a bookish one on there. With the saying,
Izzy Meakin 1:10:54
Thank you so much. I've had such a good time again.
Yeah. Thank you for having me. It was really great to read this book and then get to talk about in such depth because it was just so wild. I had to break it down.
Izzy Meakin 1:11:04
Literally I know. I know.