The Haunted Priory: or, The Fortunes of The House of Rayo. A Romance founded partly on historical Facts.
The Second Edition / [Original Edition – This is NOT a reprint]. London, Printed for J. Bell, 1794. Small Octavo. 256 pages. Hardcover / Modern half-leather with gilt lettering on spine and paper-covered boards. In bespoke made clamshell-box / solander-box. Beautifully restored and bound by a master bookbinder. Including the original endpapers and the original half-title. Front free endpaper and halftitle with dampstain to lower corner only. Dampstain in lower corner of the titlepage only faintly present. One of the rarest titles of Irish Literature and one of the rarest, early gothic-novels / horror-novels. Absolutely scarce and in excellent condition after the beautiful restoration.
Stephen Cullen’s The Haunted Priory; or, The Fortunes of the House of Rayo was first published in 1794, the same year Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. One of the first Gothic novels set in medieval Spain, it recounts the fall of the House of Rayo during the politically dangerous period of Peter the Cruel. Alphonso, son of Don Isidor, nephew of Baron de Rayo, is led to a ruinous chapel by a cowled spectre where he begins to unearth the mysteries surrounding his family. Skilled at utilizing familiar Gothic conventions, Cullen proves a master of Gothic horror in this early example of the historical Gothic.