Study Guide

The Mysteries of Udolpho Volume 4, Chapter 16

By Ann Radcliffe

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Volume 4, Chapter 16

  • The next day, Em runs into the abbess while walking around the chateau. It's a small world.
  • The abbess invites Em back to the convent again, telling her that Agnes mentions her name frequently.
  • Well, Em gets a special reception when she visits Agnes. Agnes screams at her: "Ah! That vision comes upon me in my dying hours!" That's one way to say hello.
  • Turns out Agnes thinks Em is the daughter of the Marchioness. That's right, the Marchioness who died under suspicious circumstances at the Chateau-le-Blanc.
  • In fact, Agnes has a picture to prove that Em is the spitting image of the Marchioness.
  • And Agnes has another picture she wants to show Em: this one's of Agnes in her glory days.
  • Hold up. It's a picture of Signora Laurentini, the former owner of Udolpho in Italy. Y'know, the one who disappeared in the woods and was never seen again? Worlds colliding.
  • Yep, Agnes is really Signora Laurentini. Looks like the story Sister Frances told Em was a bunch of crock.
  • Instead, Agnes-turned-Signora-Laurentini is going to tell her real story. Apparently, she was head-over-heels in love with the Marquis of Chateau-le-Blanc.
  • He loved her back, but he was with the Marchioness.
  • Not to be foiled, the Marquis and Signora Laurentini plotted to murder the Marchioness with poison.
  • Once she was out of the way, the Marquis had a change of heart and suddenly wasn't so much into his fellow-murderer.
  • He headed off to live out his days in guilt and left the Signora Laurentini broken-hearted.
  • Em's not really sure if the Marchioness really is her mom. After all, her dad did have a picture of the Marchioness in his secret pile of papers.
  • If the Signora Laurentini switcheroo isn't crazy-town enough, check this out: Du Pont has a buddy named Monsieur Bonnac who's in town.
  • Bonnac happens to know Valancourt, and he's only got good things to say. Turns out Valancourt bailed him out of prison and paid off all his debts, just out of the goodness of his heart.
  • What's more, Valancourt restored Bonnac to his ailing wife, who was having a tough time without her husband by her side.
  • So even though Valancourt was into the gambling for a while, he shaped up and did what was right.
  • And he didn't really squander away all of his money. The guy actually gave it away!
  • Once the Count de Villeforte hears of Valancourt's true character, he's totally shocked. Valancourt might just be worthy of Emily.

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