Nightmare Abbey

Thomas Love Peacock

Renard Press



ISBN: 9781913724078


Publication date: 28 July 2021



Nightmare Abbey is a novella by Thomas Love Peacock, first published in 1818, widely considered to be Peacock’s most enduringly popular work. The narrative centres on Christopher Glowry, a miserly widower, his son Scythrop and a host of dismal-sounding servants in his family pile, Nightmare Abbey. Recovering from an ill-fated love affair, Scythrop dreams up various schemes to reform and regenerate the human species, but misanthropy lurks around every corner, and everything changes when a mermaid is spotted and a strange woman appears in his chamber.

Although fundamentally a Gothic novel, and rich in allusion – from Pope to Dante, Rossini to Mozart – Nightmare Abbey is, at heart, a satire, as Peacock makes clear in the preface to a later edition, in which he describes the characters – allusions to his friends – as ‘status-quo-ites’, ‘morbid visionaries’, ‘romantic enthusiasts’ and ‘lovers of good dinners’.