After being abandoned by the man she believes to be her father, Adeline St. Pierre finds precarious refuge with Pierre de la Motte and his family. Although La Motte is himself fleeing Paris to escape imprisonment, he agrees to take Adeline with them. Circumstances force La Motte and the others to settle in a remote, desolate abbey within the depths of the forest of Fontanville.
The travelers' initial relief is disturbed by the arrival of the Marquis de Montalt, owner of the forest. While Adeline is haunted by terrifying, mysterious dreams, La Motte becomes entangled in the corrupt schemes of his new-found benefactor.
First published in 1791, The Romance of the Forest was Ann Radcliffe's breakout book. This edition has been copyedited to current American practice in respect to punctuation. In some places words and phrases have been reordered - and in a very few cases altered or deleted - to improve ease of comprehension. The interspersed poems have been removed. 400 pages; 133,000 words. Includes map.