The Romance of the Forest (Reader’s Edition)
After being abandoned by the man she believes to be her father, Adeline St. Pierre finds precarious refuge with Pierre de la Motte and his family. Although La Motte is himself fleeing Paris to escape imprisonment, he agrees to take Adeline with them. Circumstances force La Motte and the others to settle in a remote, desolate abbey within the depths of the forest of Fontanville.
The travelers’ initial relief after finding shelter in the ruined abbey is disturbed by the arrival of the Marquis de Montalt, owner of the forest. La Motte becomes entangled in the corrupt schemes of his new-found benefactor, while Adeline is haunted by terrifying dreams and a sense of impending danger.
First published in 1791, The Romance of the Forest was Ann Radcliffe’s breakout book. This edition has been copyedited to current American practice in respect to punctuation. In some places words and phrases have been reordered — and in a very few cases altered or deleted — to improve ease of comprehension. The interspersed poems have been removed. However, no scenes and no descriptions have been removed: the work stands as Ann Radcliffe wrote it, polished for today’s readers.