Regarded as the first gothic horror novel ever written, The Castle of Otranto is a dark, thrilling tale, delightfully shocking for its time and hugely influential. A fantastic, provocative and playful tale of medieval dynastic and sexual politics, The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first ever published gothic novel and has inspired authors from Edgar Allan Poe to J.K. Rowling. Abounding with unfulfilled prophecies, supernatural occurrences, adventure, suspense and destiny it follows the fortunes of the royal family of Sicily in the thirteenth century. Prince Conrad is crushed to death on the day of his wedding to the beautiful Princess Isabella. Heirless - and terrified of an ancient prophecy that foretells the downfall of his dynasty - his father, King Manfred, divorces his wife and resolves to marry the princess himself. Far from enamoured with her new fiancé, Isabella flees the royal castle and makes for the sanctuary of a nearby church with the help of the humble Theodore. When the pair is captured their respective fates seem inescapable; but at the moment of Theodore's death, delivery comes from the most unexpected of places.