Though I have been dead these 15 years, I still command here and none can enter these gates without my permission. The ghostly guardian of his childhood friend s castle is enough to give Sir Philip Harclay the creeps. A wing of mysteriously abandoned rooms only adds to the tension as Sir Philip discovers the castle s secrets and, in an effort to uphold the truth, ends up facing a trial by combat. If you enjoyed The Tudors , you ll like this classic story featuring a collection of knights and barons, alleged usurpers, forbidden love and spine-tingling suspense. The author cites Horace Walpole s Gothic novel The Castle of Atranto as an inspiration for her book. The Old English Baron soon joined Walpole s novel as one of the major influences in the development of the Gothic genre that spawned Mary Shelley s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker s Dracula .The English author and translator Clara Reeve (1729-1807) published 24 volumes and five novels in her career. The two to gain fame were The Champion of Virtue - a groundbreaking history of prose fiction - and The Old English Baron .She lived mainly in Ipswich and was the daughter of a vicar.