Radcliffe's Udolpho: some possible sources illustrated

Udolpho citations, shown by vol., chapter, and page, are from the Penguin edition, ed. Howard. Page numbers in brackets are from the Oxford Classics edition, ed. Dobrée. Other citations are listed below the table.

possible source
Ramond, p. 8
The Pyrenees are seen from a vast distance, and, whatever aspect they present, appear like the Alps to be a stupendous mass of sharp, ragged, and pointed summits, partaking either of the whiteness of the clouds or of the azure of the sky, as they reflect the light or are covered with shadow.
I Ch. I, p. 5 (1)
To the south, the view was bounded by the majestic Pyrenees, whose summits, veiled in clouds, or exhibiting awful forms, seen, and lost again, as the partial vapours rolled along, were sometimes barren, and gleamed through the blue tinge of air, and sometimes frowned with forests of gloomy pine, that swept downward to their base.
Ramond, p. 79
Hereabouts we descend by the zig-zags of a steep and rugged path, and cross a bridge of a single arch; it is ninety feet above the torrent; meanwhile the hamlet has disappeared. From this bridge we may see the Gave profoundly imbedded, and forming a long and terrible cataract, under shadow of the thickest umbrage.
I Ch. IV, p. 45 (44)
as they wound along the valley, they saw, on a rude Alpine bridge, that united two lofty crags of the glen, a group of mountaineer-children, amusing themselves with dropping pebbles into a torrent below, and watching the stones plunge into the water, that threw up its white spray high in the air as it received them, and returned a sullen sound, which the echoes of the mountains prolonged.
Moore, p. 207
many pathless craggy mountains remained to be traversed after we had lost the protection of the trees. We then had nothing but the sagacity of our mules to trust to. For my part, I was very soon convinced that it was much safer on all dubious occasions to depend on their's than on my own
I Ch. III, p. 32 (30)
St. Aubert, apprehending still greater danger from suddenly stopping the driver, was compelled to sit quietly, and trust his fate to the strength and discretion of the mules, who seemed to possess a greater portion of the latter quality than their master
Ramond, p. 95
At a very considerable distance, I had perceived that bluish tint; that sharpness of edge, those clefts which cannot be mistaken; that indescribable disposition, in fine, by which may be recognized at any distance the lofty glaciers of the Alps; for, placed upon the brink of the precipices, their very situation deprives them of the power of extending themselves.
I, Ch. IV p. 43 (42)
From Beaujeu the road had constantly ascended, conducting the travellers into the higher regions of the air, where immense glaciers exhibited their frozen horrors, and eternal snow whitened the summits of the mountains. They often paused to contemplate these stupendous scenes, and, seated on some wild cliff, where only the ilex or the larch could flourish, looked over dark forests of fir, and precipices where human foot had never wandered, into the glen--so deep, that the thunder of the torrent, which was seen to foam along the bottom, was scarcely heard to murmur.
Ramond, pp. 296-7
The cloud was opening and closing again with equal promptitude. Sometimes it was the summit of the peak, sometimes the bottom of the valley that were to be seen through its divisions. It stopt only once, and then covered the whole of the country about us, but showed us, through a circular opening, the rich and fertile declivity of the mountains of the valley of Aure. This apparition, which had something of magic in it, lasted but for a moment, and was the last.
I Ch. IV, p. 44 (43)
While, above, the deep blue of the heavens was unobscured by the lightest cloud, half way down the mountains, long billows of vapour were frequently seen rolling, now wholly excluding the country below, and now opening, and partially revealing its features.
Ramond, p. 78
Here the rocks are extremely steep, and no further habitations can be met with; but a number of torrents, whose source is in the western mountains, roll and plunge towards the Gave. They assume every variety of form; in one place being vomited from wild ravines; in another, making their tranquil escape from the shadows of the thickest forests
I Ch. IV, p. 31 (29)
Here was shade, and the fresh water of a spring, that, gliding among the turf, under the trees, thence precipitated itself from rock to rock, till its dashing murmurs were lost in the abyss, though its white foam was long seen amid the darkness of the pines below.
Williams, vol. 2, p. 7
After a slight interval of repose, however, we found ourselves restored to that feeling of serene, tranquil delight, for which the philosophers who have written on the theory of the Higher Alps, account, from the purity of the atmosphere at that immense elevation; and which state of soothing happiness Rousseau has described with his usual eloquence, in a letter to Julia. [see note below]
I Ch. IV, p. 44 (43)
The serenity and clearness of the air in these high regions were particularly delightful to the travellers; it seemed to inspire them with a finer spirit, and diffused an indescribable complacency over their minds. They had no words to express the sublime emotions they felt.
Gilpin, Dialogue (1746), pp. 48-9
I must own there appears a very visible Connection between an improved Taste for Pleasure, and a Taste for Virtue
I Ch. V, p. 50 (49)
Virtue and taste are nearly the same, for virtue is little more than active taste, and the most delicate affections of each combine in real love. How then are we to look for love in great cities, where selfishness, dissipation, and insincerity supply the place of tenderness, simplicity and truth?
Gilpin, Wye, p. 64
A light of this kind, though not so favorable to landscape, is very favorable to the imagination. This active power embodies half-formed images, which it rapidly combines; and often composes landscapes, perhaps more beautiful, if the imagination be well-stored, than any that can be found in Nature herself.
I Ch V, p. 50-51 (50)
Sometimes, the thick foliage excluded all view of the country; at others, it admitted some partial catches of the distant scenery, which gave hints to the imagination to picture landscapes more interesting, more impressive, than any that had been presented to the eye. The wanderers often lingered to indulge in these reveries of fancy.
Ramond, p. 55 [from Pic du Midi]
Here, then, as from the height of the clouds, I gazed down on the vallies and their hills, and with one glance embraced all Bigorre, Bearn, the Conserans, and even Languedoc itself, to that extreme distance where a light vapour, confounding the limits of the horizon with the immensity of the heavens, assists the eye, and leaves it nothing to regret.
I Ch V, p. 54 (53)
Through a vista of the mountains appeared the lowlands of Rousillon, tinted with the blue haze of distance, as they united with the waters of the Mediterranean; where, on a promontory, which marked the boundary of the shore, stood a lonely beacon, over which were seen circling flights of sea-fowl.
Grosley, p. 35
We crossed mount Cenis the day before Midsummer-day, and it was the first time we had felt what might be called real hot weather. In our ascent, however, we saw snow in several places. On our reaching the spacious level which extends itself along the summit, we found a most beautiful sky and clear air, and the ground all over covered with very lively verdure and flowers almost in bloom. . . . But the very next day being Midsummer-day, all this verdure and these charming flowers were to be given up to the flocks of the neighbouring country, which come annually on that day, to take possession of the summit, there remaining till the snowy weather.

II Ch. I, p. 158 (164)
The snow was not yet melted on the summit of Mount Cenis, over which the travellers passed; but Emily, as she looked upon its clear lake and extended plain, surrounded by broken cliffs, saw, in imagination, the verdant beauty it would exhibit when the snows should be gone, and the shepherds, leading up the midsummer flocks from Piedmont, to pasture on its flowery summit

Grosley, p. 37-8
I asked them whether they had never heard of a captain of Algerines, one Hannibal, crossing mount Cenis with a great army, about two thousand years ago. . . our carriers trotted as fast as the best chairmen in the streets of Paris. They rested but two or three times, and in these intervals, they placed the two hand-barrows along side of each other, on the point of a rock, where, sitting on the ground, we talked of whatever remarkable had occurred to us.
II Ch. I, p. 159 (166)
Meanwhile the carriers, having come to a landing-place, stopped to rest, and the travellers being seated on the point of a cliff, Montoni and Cavigni renewed a dispute concerning Hannibal's crossing over the Alps
Ramond on geology of Maladetta (too long to quote) IV Ch. XII, p. 566-7 (602)
the Count, seated between his daughter and St. Foix, endeavoured to divert the fears of the former, and conversed on subjects, relating to the natural history of the scene, among which they wandered. He spoke of the mineral and fossile substances, found in the depths of these mountains,--the veins of marble and granite, with which they abounded, the strata of shells, discovered near their summits, many thousand fathom above the level of the sea, and at a vast distance from its present shore;--of the tremendous chasms and caverns of the rocks, the grotesque form of the mountains, and the various phaenomena, that seem to stamp upon the world the history of the deluge.
Ramond, p. 116
Four Spanish smugglers, who were marching in company, completed this strange assembly of different objects, united in one of the wildest, and least accessible deserts in nature.
IV Ch. XII, p. 569 (605)
French and Spanish smugglers, who cross the mountains with contraband goods from their respective countries
Grosley, p. 205
Fancying the sight of his mistress might somewhat alleviate his despair, he got the vault to be opened, and there she was seen in reality, as we saw her represented in wax. Extremely beautiful, among the damp regions of the dead; a lizard is sucking her mouth, a worm is creeping out of one of her cheeks, a mouse is gnawing one of her ears, and a huge swolen toad on her forehead is preying on one of her eyes.
IV Ch. XVII. p. 622 (662)
on lifting it, there appeared, instead of the picture she had expected, within a recess of the wall, a human figure of ghastly paleness, stretched at its length, and dressed in the habilments of the grave. What added to the horror of the spectacle, was, that the face appeared partly decayed and disfigured by worms, which were visible on the features and hands.


Gilpin, William. A Dialogue upon the Gardens . . . at Stowe (1748), cited by Hugh Sykes Davies, Wordsworth and the Worth of Words (1986), p. 216.

Gilpin, William. Observations on the River Wye, and several parts of South Wales, 5th ed. (1800). First edition 1771.

Grosley, Pierre Jean. New Observations on Italy and its Inhabitants, trans. Thomas Nugent (1769). Vol. I.

Moore, John. A View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany, 3rd ed. (1780). First edition 1779.

Ramond de Carbonnières, Travels in the Pyrenees, trans. F. Gold (1813). First edition in French, 1789.

Williams, Helen Maria. A Tour in Switzerland (1798). [Note. Radcliffe's Udolpho could not have been directly influenced by Williams. But Williams is repeating here a comment made at greater length by Ramond de Carbonnière in his essay on glaciers, first published in 1781 as an addition to his French translation of Coxe's Travels in Switzerland, translated by Williams as an appendix to her book.]

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Document created February 4th 2003 / updated February 14th 2005