Collection of satirical--even scurrilous in some cases-- commentaries in verse form on writers of the period by William Henry Ireland, the audacious late 18th-century forger of numerous manuscripts purported to have been written by Shakespeare, including four plays, two of them previously unknown. There are chapters on authors such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Robert Southey, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and Clio Rickman, as well as sections on classes of writers such as "Novelists", "Dramatists," "Topographers," "Travellers and Tourists," "Catalogue Makers," and "Commentators on ancient lore."
William-Henry Ireland's Rimualdo; or, The Castle of Badajos was first published in 1800 at the apex of the genre's popularity. Like Ann Radcliffe before him, Ireland skillfully weaves the familiar Gothic conventions with Shakespearean characteristics. Set in medieval Spain, the novel is nothing less than a register of Gothic paraphernalia: "unnatural parents, persecuted lovers, murders, haunted apartments, winding sheets and winding staircases, subterranean passages, lamps that are dim and perverse and that always go out when they should not, monasteries, caves, monks, tall, thin, and withered with lank abstemious cheeks, dreams, groans, and spectres." Rimualdo chronicles the perversely sensitive Condh Don Rimualdo's discovery an enigmatic female under the protection of the nefarious monk Sebastiano. In his attempt to unlock the mystery of the virtuous Constanza, Rimualdo is drawn into a labyrinth of depravity, villainy and nightmares where nothing is as it first appears.