Dragonwyck

Dragonwyck First published in Dragonwyck was a national bestseller that was made into a major motion picture starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in A classic gothic romance the story features an

  • Title: Dragonwyck
  • Author: Anya Seton Philippa Gregory
  • ISBN: 9781556525810
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1944, Dragonwyck was a national bestseller that was made into a major motion picture starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in 1946 A classic gothic romance, the story features an 18 year old Miranda Wells who falls under the spell of a mysterious old mansion and its equally fascinating master Tired of churning butter, weeding the garden patch, and reFirst published in 1944, Dragonwyck was a national bestseller that was made into a major motion picture starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in 1946 A classic gothic romance, the story features an 18 year old Miranda Wells who falls under the spell of a mysterious old mansion and its equally fascinating master Tired of churning butter, weeding the garden patch, and receiving the dull young farmers who seek her hand in marriage, Miranda is excited by an invitation from the upstate New York estate of her distant relative, the intriguing Nicholas Van Ryn Her passion is kindled by the icy fire of Nicholas, the last of the Van Ryns, and the luxury of Dragonwyck, and a way of life of which she has only dreamed Dressed in satin and lace, she becomes part of Dragonwyck, with its Gothic towers, flowering gardens, acres of tenant farms, and dark, terrible secrets This compelling novel paints a marvelous portrait of a country torn between freedom and feudal traditions a country divided between the very wealthy and the very poor Poor tenant farmers at Dragonwyck, the European royalty who visit, and American icons such as Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, and the Astors are vividly brought to life This is a heart stopping story of a remarkable woman, her breathtaking passions, and the mystery and terror that await her in the magnificent hallways of Dragonwyck.

    One thought on “Dragonwyck”

    1. This is not a Gothic romance novel. This is a handbook concerning A) a sociopathic* personality, how its psychosis manifests in actions, words, and thoughts, and how with the smallest trigger, it spirals down into further depths of depravity and horror, and B) the warning signs of an abusive relationship, wherein a husband/boyfriend/lover mocks the low intelligence of his partner, disparages any independent thought, isolates his partner from outside influences, including friends and family, befo [...]

    2. The first time I opened Dragonwyck was incidentally the first time I was exposed to Edgar Allan Poe. The novel opens with the poem "Alone," and Poe is one of the characters in this quintessential gothic tale. I first found this in a used book store when I was about 10 or 11, and every few years I am compelled to pick it up again, even though I know it through and through.Dragonwyck is the story of Miranda Wells, a farm girl in upstate New York with dreams of a luxurious life she can never hope t [...]

    3. At first, Dragonwyck reminded me of Mansfield Park: the young girl summoned to live with her aristocratic relations--although in this case, it's American rather than English aristocracy--who trades poverty for their luxurious lifestyle. But that resemblance was shattered as soon as Nicholas Van Ryn appeared. He is no Sir Thomas, and certainly no Edmund Bertram. Nicholas is more like Maxim de Winter: glamorous, unapproachable, even unfathomable to Miranda. And when Miranda is introduced to Dragon [...]

    4. (view spoiler)[Bettie's BooksThe rating, any status updates, and those bookshelves, indicate my feelings for this book. (hide spoiler)]

    5. Miranda Wells is too dainty and flighty to fit in with her hard working, puritanical farming family. When a distant cousin invites her to act as companion to his young daughter, she leaps at the chance and soon arrives at the beautiful gothic mansion of Dragonwyck. It is ruled by the autocratic Nicholas Van Ryn, who is so handsome, powerful, cultured that Miranda falls for him immediately. Nicholas is haunted by his first wife, who cannot give him the son he craves, and by Miranda's beauty. (vie [...]

    6. WowSo many feels with this book. In this story you follow Miranda Wells. When we first meet her she is an 18 year old farm girl living with her family when one day they receive a letter from a distant relative on her Mother's side inviting one of her family's daughters to come stay with them and assist them with their young daughter Katrine.Miranda is a young woman who wants more for herself. In a world where at her age she needs to be looking for suitors to settle down, her family mistakes her [...]

    7. I really like gothic tales and this one written by Anya Seton kept me entertained on some very cold and snowy days! Eighteen-year-old Miranda Wells grows up on a Connecticut farm but dreams of a life only found in romance novels, or so she thinks. Her mother's cousin, Nicholas Van Ryn, is a wealthy landowner and in need of a governess for his daughter. Miranda volunteers, her parents reluctantly give their consent, and soon the young lady is on her way to Dragonwyck, the Van Ryn family estate. M [...]

    8. How can it possibly be that I have NEVER read this book? I LOVED it! Many people told me that it was in the style of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, so it seemed a natural to me. I loved Katharine and Green Darkness many years ago but somehow this passed me by. I am a Hudson Valley girl and I have devoured gothic mysteries for years. I agree with many of the other posts that speak to the writing style and say that Miranda is not as well drawn a character as Jane Eyre and Nicholas is too evil but I pass o [...]

    9. I pulled this off my Southern grandama's shelf when I was in high school. It's a gothic romanc set in New York's Hudson River Valley. Miranda is the poor but beautiful girl who dreams of living in Dragonwyck. The creepy lord of the manor has a sickly wife and hires Miranda as his housegirl and, duh, falls for her. My memory is sketchy on the details but there is conflict and Miranda may or may not learn to be careful what she wishes for. In any event, I loved this book when I was 15. Whether it [...]

    10. Still not Katherine (all right, all right, I should just reread that already), but a reasonably good Gothic set in 1840s New York. Many of the standard ingredients are here, all well done: a young, beautiful naïve heroine comes to work as a governess in the magnificent mansion of a wealthy, dark, enigmatic man with a jealous wife. There are also a young, red-haired doctor, a mysterious and frightening servant, a family curse, and a ghost. Also, apart from the fairly effective Gothicness, there' [...]

    11. Dragonwyck is a gothic romance in the vein of Jane Eyre, albeit set in America just before the Civil War. Nicholas Van Ryn is this novel's Rochester. A patroon in the dying days of feudal society, he clings to the trappings of fiefdom even when it becomes increasingly obvious that it is all going to end soon. He is also handsome, brooding, mysterious, and has a fat wife (Johanna) he doesn't care for to boot. So it's no wonder that his poor cousin Miranda falls hard for him when she comes to live [...]

    12. This 1944 American Gothic novel is in the same category as Annemarie Selinko's Desiree for me: I'm glad I got round to reading it but I wish I'd got to it sooner, because I would have enjoyed it a lot more in my teens.Dragonwyck follows in the tradition of Jane Eyre and Rebecca as far as plot and tone are concerned. Farm girl Miranda is catapulted into high society when her wealthy cousin Nicholas van Ryn employs her as a governess. Like Seton's later, historical heroine, Katherine Swynford, Mir [...]

    13. This is a very odd book. It is interesting, and I couldn't put it down while reading it, but now that I have finished, I have no inclination to read it again, and indeed, feel slightly embarrassed that I read it at all. It feels so teenager-ish and melodramatic, plus the title makes it sound like some crazy science-fiction book.It is a book in the same vein as Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, though not quite as richly written. A young, simple, poor girl falls in love with a handsome, rich, mysterio [...]

    14. Normally I'm annoyed when an author throws real people into a historical novel, but I thought Anya Seton did it rather well. I never felt like I was being beaten over the head with how familiar she was with the authors in the book (Poe, Melville, etc), or that Miranda was lost behind all the other characters. I actually enjoyed the book so much that I'll probably end up buying it to read again, even though I haven't re-read a book in about four years (something you can do when you have a great l [...]

    15. Read this because I liked the movie and it takes place where I live (shout-out to the historical aspects of Catskill and Hudson and everything down to NYC that made it into the story). I also tend to like stories about a sort of tortured love that can't really work set in Gothic manor houses. Go figure.The movie follows the book very closely until about mid-way through. The movie puts more weight on the ghostly singing and playing from the Red Room and on the Dutch patroon chair. It also makes N [...]

    16. it is definitely a very interesting book. According to my experience, it isn't a typical piece, it is hard to mark it as one genre. First of all, it is in the atmosphere of a gothic story. But it isn't "too much gothic" so someone like me (I mean, someone who isn't a fan of the gothic story) isn't bored. I confess I was even sucked a little in this atmosphere ;-) Anya Seton wrote in the way that I felt like I was been with characters, like I was felt fear with them."In after years Miranda knew t [...]

    17. A gothic romance novel that has moments of great potential but ultimately falls flat. One of my main critiques is the fact that the main character Miranda is uninteresting and unsympathetic. She aids and abets cruelty and selfishness over and over until the very end when her victimhood finally forces her to wake up and find untapped reserves of fortitude. The male characters were much better developed and interesting, the sociopathic Nicholas van Ryn and the rough, heroic young doctor. The main [...]

    18. I thought this was on my "to-read" list, and now I don't see it there. So why did I have the author and title written down when I went to the library?I thought it was some sort of fantasy. Dragons, right?So imagine my confusion to find myself reading a 1944 gothic novel set in pre-Civil War upstate New York. But it was great fun. I kept thinking of Rebecca, although the plot was actually much more traditional than that. I also really liked the ways this was historical fiction as much as it was g [...]

    19. I loved the book as a girl. Recently I took it out of the library and was sooo disappointed. Am I wrong or is their major head-swimming going on here? (Head-jumping some call it.) Maybe I am too critical in my older age as I write a bit myself and try to keep in mind the POV I write in. But I couldn't keep track of things - maybe I just need to let myself go and READ.Couldn't get more than half a chapter in before returning it.

    20. I thought this book would be tailor made for me. It's a gothic, historical fiction novel with comparisons to du Maurier. However, aside from both Seton and du Maurier writing gothic novels, that's about it as far as comparisons go. The writing lacks the rich language used by du Maurier, so much so that it reminds me of reading a YA book. I also found the book to be very clichéd and predictable with one dimensional characters.

    21. Dragonwyck is a difficult book to LIKE. And yet its very good. I'm in a quandry5 star writing skills3 star enjoymentRounded off to 4 starsIn a nutshell, a country girl has high aspirations and jumps at the chance to leave the farm for an extended visit at her cousin Nicholas' vast estate. (I thought Miranda was much like Hettie from Adam Bede ) Of course, she doesn't know her cousin Nicholas at all; nor does she understand why his corpulent wife, Johanna would rather bury herself in teacakes and [...]

    22. I always had a soft spot for Gothic novels like Rebecca and Jane Eyre, so Dragonwyck seemed like a must read to me, especially when a brooding and mysterious character like Nicholas Van Ryn is involved. Nothing could be more perfect!Honestly, in the beginning, I had some troubles warming up to Miranda Wells. In the movie adaptation, she's more sympathetic and we easily relate to her wish to see the world, where in the book I found her a tad unpleasant and extremely snob. I wasn't very sure I was [...]

    23. I can tell you that the first 3/4 of this book I did not like. I thought Miranda a fool, didn't know WHAT Nicholas or Jeff saw in her. I was completely intrigued by Nicholas and couldn't wait to find out what was behind his behaviors. Unfortunately that is never fleshed out and I was disappointed when, in the end he turned to (view spoiler)[opium (hide spoiler)] as a release. I was hoping to reveal his reasoning for the dark and sinister man, but that was never explored in too much depth. The (v [...]

    24. I liked this book as it was quite gothic in its environment. The characters were typical, the beautiful heroine, the dark mysterious man, and the good looking fine charactered other "man in my life" figure. Taking place along the area of the Hudson River and NYC, the book evoked a setting that was both familiar and beautiful.The rich of Dutch New York are explored with all their wealth, society, and social strata. Into that setting comes the beautiful Miranda, distant cousin to Nicholas a wealth [...]

    25. This is a book I should have read in high school. I would have love it immensely! If you like dark, traditional gothic (think Jane Eyre), twisted love stories with psychopath husbands, then this is the book to read. Unfortunately, Anya Seton lacks in the dialogue department. Lots of melodramatic silliness with lots of exclamation points in each character's dialogue. Characters are wooden and seem to be straight out of a 1949 movie. The main character, Miranda, is such a silly and, seemingly, stu [...]

    26. I have many Anya Seton books on my TBR shelf, but was drawn to this one because it was set in an area where I used to live.Country girl, Miranda, is invited to her cousin’s manor house. There she learns not only how to accepted by high society, but also is drawn into the macabre household. Cousin Nicholas dominates the story with his unyielding, misogynistic tendencies. As their relationship deepens, Miranda discovers that being a grand lady has severe consequences.Seton is a great storyteller [...]

    27. A bodice-ripping gothic romance from the 40's, when housewives were known to tuck it behind the more respectable books on their shelves. High school girls of the 60's (like me) passed it furtively to each other, and stayed up late finishing it. It wasn’t as racy as Peyton Place, but we agreed it was a lot more exciting. Now in the 21st century, it’s still in print, and it will still keep you up late reading. Trust me.

    28. So far so good. This book is one where you are grabbed on the first couple of pages. I'm only a couple chapters in but I suddenly realized that this book is why Anya Seton still enjoys popularity today. Forget your trashy Harlequins that melt your brain! Rise against it and read old romance novels that got your grandmother kicked out of school!!

    29. I had this book in my TBR pile for quite some time, and I'm glad I finally picked it up.We follow the story of young Miranda Wells, eldest daughter of a modest farming family. One day, they receive a letter from some distant very rich relatives asking for one of their daughters to go live with them and help taking care of their small daughter, Katrina.Despite her father's initial reluctance, Miranda is sent to NY to meet her attractive cousin, Mr Nicholas Van Ryn and his wife, Johanna. Once in D [...]

    30. You're not as strong as you thought you were, are you! Even you cannot break the laws of mankind and God without suffering. Not even you.Alright, everyone, sit right down and get ready for a raving review of what is my star read of November. Oh man, do I love me a gothic novel. Not only is Dragonwyck a sensational example of this underrated genre, but it is also a unique and vibrant one! I don't have words enough to describe my raptures over this novel, but I'll try my very best. Miranda is farm [...]

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