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Supernatural Tales By Vernon Lee

Supernatural Tales by Vernon Lee

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This collection of six fantastical stories, set in different historical periods and mainly in Italy, is pervaded by the theme of alien spirits representing both good and evil.

Supernatural Tales Summary

Supernatural Tales by Vernon Lee

These tales were written between 1881 and 1913 at a time when the literature of the fantastic was at its peak. Fusing the fantastic with the decadent era in the arts saw the creation of new artistic forms redolent with satanic imagery, morbid atmospheres and obsessive notions of decay. Soaked in the intoxicating warmth and aromas of Italian pastoral idylls, Vernon Lee's stories are also pervaded by eerie or macabre sensations, particularly when the past suddenly intrudes into the life of her protagonists. The stories are Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady, the tale of a handsome prince who falls for a beautiful woman who may well be a reptile; A Wedding Chest, a story of love and assasination; Amour Dure tells of Medea Malatesta, a dangerous beauty so compelling that wretches under the torturer's knife remain hopelessly faithful to her; A Wicked Voice is about a Norwegian composer whose style is corrupted by the ghostly voice of a male soprano; The Legend of Madame Krasinka is the tale of the American wife of a Polish count who is saved from hanging herself by the ghost of a beggar. The last story, The Virgin of the Seven Daggers is an intricate admixture of several elements, part dream within a dream.

Supernatural Tales Reviews

'Her style is a rare one, to be savoured slowly and deliberately.' - John Ashbery, TLS; 'Quite literally bewildering supernatural tales, a kind of Italianate Arabian Nights... More than just rattling good yarns, these are works of extraordinary imagination and one wonders why they're not better known.' - Gay Times 'Her [Lee's] supernatural vein would appear to be an embellishment of the 18th century Italy imagined by the pioneer art historian (and pacifist)... Edith Wharton and Vernon Lee belong to a ghostly sisterhood which, from the 1880s onwards, was to be responsible for much of the most interesting terror fiction.' - London Review of Books 'Great news. She [Vernon Lee] has finally materialised among us, once again in this anthology of her best supernatural tales. And this is surely the best place to get to the heart of her secrets, encoded as they are in the fantastic... Storytelling magic.' - Belles Lettres (USA)

About Vernon Lee

Vernon Lee, the pseudonym of Violet Paget (1856-1935) was born in Boulogne of British parents. After early travels she settled in Florence. In 1880 her Studies of the Eighteenth Century in Italy earned her acclaim as a critic, followed by later studies of Renaissance art to which she added a number of philosphical and sociological works. She also wrote a manual of aesthetics, essays and two novels. Satan the Waster (1920), a dramatic trilogy, embodied her belief in pacificism. Among her many contemporary admirers were Robert Browning, Walter Pater, George Bernard Shaw, James McNeill Whistler and Edith Wharton (Wharton's The Ghost-Feeler 0 7206 1152 0 is the perfect companion to this volume). A portrait of Vernon Lee by John Singer Sargent hangs in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Additional information

Supernatural Tales by Vernon Lee
Used - Like New
Peter Owen Publishers
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

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