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Set in France during the Dark Ages where the good Count Richard has mysteriously disappeared and the usurper Albert and his evil wife Brunchilda reign tyrannically in his place The Animated Skeleton is a masterpiece of Gothic horror Brunchilda has marked out the unfortunate peasants Jacuemar and Grodern for her vengeance but her plots will be foiled by the animated skeleton that haunts the castle a skeleton which just may hold the key to Richard's fate A bestseller when first published in 1798 The Animated Skeleton features an unusual blend of horror and dark comedy unlike any other Gothic novel This edition the first in than two centuries includes a new foreword and notes to put the novel in context for modern readers

10 thoughts on “The Animated Skeleton

  1. says:

    About as Gothic as it getsA dark unused wing of a vast castle hides a secret to a murder Hiding in the shadows is a living skeleton out to avenge a past wrong Meanwhile all kinds of melodramatic political intrigues and forbidden romances are going on What could be Gothic than this? So if you are a fan of this subgenre of early horror you will love this On my end I certainly appreciate the atmosphere these kinds of tales evokes but this one was a bit amateurish with so many shoehorned asides reveals and plot twists found in the most awkward places that it felt like an adolescent child wrote this But this did add to the charm Overall I think most will enjoy reading this little gem of Gothic horror that hasn't been printed in two centuries until now

  2. says:

    That poisoned dagger was intended for Duke Albert said the Count in case I could not force him to drink of the cup which I had prepared for himInfernal villain exclaimed Grimoald who had heard his speech; I would this minute kill thee and banish thy vile soul from the earth which thou emcumberest wert thou not reserved for greater tormentsI scorn thy threats vain boaster replied the Count I will not exist one moment beyond my own pleasure thou mayest kill but thou canst not keep me alive etc Pure Gothic Pulp speedily written to be speedily read by candlelight

  3. says:

    I loved this book Great short introduction to historical Gothic fiction with both some real creepy stuff a surprising amount of sarcastic humor and all the tropes we know and love jam packed in one slim volume Thanks Valancourt Books

  4. says:

    The charm of this novel is its similarity to the many other novels which were published between 1790 until about 1820 by Minerva Press If you are a fan of the First Gothics I definitely recommend it

  5. says:

    You can tell this book was writen by someone who wasn't a real author It's choppy very hard to get through and is extremly confusing It seems like the whole first part of the book doesn't really have anything to do with the plot and then finally by the end the real story starts and it is easier to understand But I will deffinitly have to read it over again to maybe get what the book is actually about It was written so badly that I couldn't consentrate on the story and kept getting distracted by something The story itself because it's so confusing is not very captivating and leaves out important details or just doesn't explain someting all together I don't even know why someone thought it would be a good idea to publish this book And what bothers me even is that I found this title on a list of great gothic horror classics I guess I'll just have to read it again

  6. says:

    Now this is some prime Gothic romance and is a great place to start if you want to try the genre because it is short if hella confusing which is a staple of the genre My favorite character was Brunchilda who in addition to being stab happy and vengeful commits many of the cardinal Gothic feminine sins such as being way too hot and probably cleavage y wanting to bone down on a sexy younger man and worst of all being a super shitty mother to her perfect modest daughter Will said daughter be rewarded for her virtue by fainting a bunch and then hooking up with the aforementioned sexy younger man? I would never spoil the ending because like a Gothic heroine I am saintly and prone to getting kidnapped by people who may or may not be ghosts

  7. says:

    My first foray into Valancourt books which reprints old Gothic novels and other stuff Not too bad this was originally published in the 1790s so it isn't exactly accessible Still plenty of gothic atmosphere and a decent story