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Word Count: 1,532
By Monika Zofia Mezyk In Ann Radcliffes The Italian the very first thing that we see describedis a veiled womanIt was in the church of San Lorenzo at Naples in the year 1758 that Vincentiodi Vivaldi first saw Ellena di Rosalba The sweetness and fine expressionof her voice attracted his attention to her figure which had a distinguishedair of delicacy and grace but her face was concealed in her veil So muchwas he fascinated by the voice that a most painful curiosity was excitedas to her countenance which he fancied must express all the sensibilityof character that the modulation of her tones indicated 5Even without knowing anything about Gothic elements this indicates veryclearly what the quality and tone of the book are going to be like Vivaldispursuit of the veiled woman is a signal that his is the pursuit of themysterious with the certainty that it will be beautiful This certainlydoes seem to be a great fascination in the novel it is a component and oftena catalyst for that anxiety which runs throughoutIt is this anxiety which causes the heightening of our emotions our emotionsare heightened as we watch the characters pursuit of the mysterious andour curiosity is excited more and more until we are nearly begging for itsgratification But Radcliffe heightens our emotions without satisfying ourcuriosity or at least not enough For example the very first chapterestablishes a sense of mystery about the assassin in the Church The Englishmaninquires as much for himself as for us about the assassin His concern andstate of shock invoke our own inquiry into this odd circumstance and thenhis Italian friend tells him a mystery without actually telling him anythingHe the assassin sought sanctuary here replied the friar within thesewalls he may not be hurt2He makes it clear that there is a story here but that it is long and suspensefulmaybe shockingIt is much too long to be related now that would occupy a week I haveit in writing
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