Nobody is entirely safe; nothing is secure. The Gothic world is quintessentially the fallen world, the vision of fallen man, living in fear and alienation, haunted by images of his mythic expulsion, by its repercussions, and by an awareness of his unavoidable wretchedness.
-- from Ann B. Tracy's introduction
“I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook." [says Isabelle Thorpe to Catherine Morland] "Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.”
“Yes, pretty well," [answers Catherine] "but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?”
A hundred years later, Isabella Popp tells us, Isabella's seven horrid novels had fallen into such obscurity that they "were often presumed to be invented by Austen." In 1927, "Michael Sadleir, a British publisher, novelist, and book collector, located copies of all seven novels." The last one to surface was Orphans of the Rhine.
This should be a reminder to us that prior to our digital age, finding copies of rare old book was a much more difficult and expensive challenge. Thanks to the internet and thanks to digitization, hundreds of these spine-chilling 18th-century novels are readily available, either for purchase or through your local university or community library.
You can also dive into the world of the gothic novel thanks to Professor Ann B. Tracy and her reference book: The Gothic Novel 1790-1830: Plot Summaries and Index to Motifs.