Gothic Chapbooks

3. “The Iron Shroud” is a claustrophobic tale of one man’s unjust imprisonment in the dungeon of the Prince of Tofi’s castle in Italy. The narrative takes the reader through the protagonist’s experience in a slowly contracting prison cell, with hyperbolic accounts of his mental anguish and a chilling description of the ingeniously constructed cell. This story could be read as an imprisonment narrative, in some ways similar to the crime literature that was popular during the Romantic period, which gave readers accounts of the imprisonment, escapes, and trials of various criminals. The very short story, “No Grumbling—A Tale,” provides some comic relief after the intensity and suspense of the main narrative.

“The Iron Shroud; or, Italian Revenge” is 18 pages long; also included is a short story entitled “No Grumbling—A Tale” (pp. 21-24). Printed “for the booksellers” in Glasgow. 15.7 × 9.8 cm.