The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne marked the arrival of a unique talent. It was Ann Radcliffe's first attempt at fiction, and its feuds, cases of mistaken identity, and background of castles and the `sublime' landscape pointed the way forward to the Gothic fantasies of her later years. Set in the Middle Ages against the melancholy beauty of mountains and rugged coasts of the Scottish Highlands, the novel describes the internecine feuds of the warring clan chieftains of Athlin and Dunbayne. Low-born clansman Alleyn pursues his quest for love and honour, helping to rescue Osbert of Athlin and falling in love with Osbert's sister Mary. Breakneck pursuits alternate with scenes of passionate feeling, and the castle itself, in all its romantic sublimity, becomes the true focal point of the novel.
Original title: The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne: A Highland Story
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Medieval