Comparing Covers: The mysteries of Udolpho

I found “The mysteries of Udolpho” by Ann Radcliffe on my German swap site recently. Its cover was quite surprising as it reminds me rather of a 1950s detective story than a Gothic novel from the 18th century.

The mysteries of Udolpho

So it was time for another cover compare. These are the other English covers I found, but I am sure there are many, many more:

udolpho1 udolpho2 udolpho3

udolpho4 udolpho5 udolpho6

Then there is a French and an Italian cover.

udolpho_fr udolpho_it


My favourites would be the first English cover in the second row. I like Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings, especially this one which is called “Kreidefelsen auf Rügen”. I also like the Italian cover, I just can’t resist pink!

Strangely enough there doesn’t seem to be any German version. A translation was published in 1795 called “Udolphos Geheimnisse” (a literal translation), but there is no new edition, no cover to be found, no nothing. Either there are not many German Gothic fans or they all ask for the original.

Which cover do you like best?

If you are now interested in reading this, The Mysteries of Udolpho is available as a free e-book at Project Gutenberg. Enjoy!

4 Comments Write a comment

  1. Glad to find another cover art enthusiast. It always intrigues me to watch the trends in covers and the various covers for multiple editions. The spiral cover would probably get me to pick it up in a store because of it’s similarities to posters for the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Vertigo”.


  2. Judith, the second in the first row is awful, isn’t it?

    Tami, I agree, Vertigo would be something that comes to mind. But I would have never expected this cover for a 18th century Gothic novel.


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