It was praised by the poet Coleridge who wrote 'the attention is uninterruptedly fixed, until the veil is designedly withdrawn" . The first volume was published anonymously in its first edition.
Although The Critical Review saw it as her finest work, it is not generally regarded in the same league as The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho; however the Romance of the Forest was hugely popular in its day and remains in print after over two hundred years. It is the subject of much critical discussion, particularly in its treatment of femininity and its role and influence in the gothic tradition Radcliffe did so much to invent. .