The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

by Ann Radcliffe

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne is a Gothic story about the feud between the medieval Scottish Highland clans of Athlin and Dunbayne. It was Ann Radcliffe’s first novel.

Source: Radcliffe, A. (1789). The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne. London, England: Thomas Hookham.

Chapter I
The history of the family of the Earl of Athlin and the ongoing feud with Malcolm is introduced.
Chapter II
Osbert vows to avenge his father’s death, while Alleyn feels an attraction to Mary. They set out into battle, but face capture.
Chapter III
The Baron imprisons Osbert and Alleyn. Alleyn soon returns to Athlin with stories of his escape.
Chapter IV
Matilda falls into despair over the fate of her son. A letter arrives, bringing with it a new hope for his escape. Mary begins to think tenderly of Alleyn.
Chapter V
The Baron stops the attack on Dunbayne by threatening Osbert’s life. He offers up a trade: the Earl for his sister. Alleyn returns to Athlin and tries to help Matilda find another option.
Chapter VI
Osbert becomes acquainted with the Baroness. The deadline for the response to Malcolm approaches.
Chapter VII
The history of the inhabitants of Dunbayne is revealed.
Chapter VIII
Edmund arrives in Osbert’s cell, ready to enact the escape. Various obstacles arise during the attempted escape. Matilda and Mary learn of the fate of their loved ones.
Chapter IX
Alleyn reveals his feelings for Mary to Osbert. The Count offers a match for Mary, but she is hesitant to accept.
Chapter X
Malcolm reveals an important secret to the Baroness. Various relationships face the strictures of society, dependent upon class and status to survive.
Chapter XI
There is an attack and an impending marriage, delayed by a disappearance.
Chapter XII
Identities are revealed and the marriage unites the houses of Athlin and Dunbayne.
  • Year Published: 1789
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.7
  • Word Count: 42,372
  • Genre: Gothic
  • Keywords: honor, love, war
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