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Hauntings And Other Fantastic Tales 1856-1935 (Broadview Editions) Paperback – 30 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd (30 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551115786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551115788
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Ghosts don't exist: they are experienced. Starting from this observation, later echoed by Freud, the liminal late-nineteenth- early-twentieth-century figure Vernon Lee became the first master of the modern supernatural tale. Lee's masterpiece, Hauntings, returns to life with additional stories in a first-rate edition from Broadview Press, with valuable contextual materials provided by Catherine Maxwell and Patricia Pulham. Let the work of seduction begin."--Richard Dellamora

About the Author

Catherine Maxwell is Reader in Victorian Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. Patricia Pulham is Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Portsmouth. They are the editors of Vernon Lee: Decadence, Ethics, Aesthetics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Martina Evans on 21 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
The subtlety and depth of Vernon Lee's fantastical stories have long been over-looked and this book should go a long way towards redressing the balance. Often dismissed as a minor writer, Vernon Lee had a wonderfully suggestive style and this collection displays an extensive range of variations on the theme of haunting. In all of the stories, there is a powerful sense of place and this is the keystone when it comes to expressing the ghostly. In Oke of Okehurst there is a tremendous sense of the way the old English house evokes the past and holds its inhabitants within its grip. Other stories are set in Italy, A Wicked voice describes a Venice that reeks of terror and the fictional village in Dionea provides a haunting seascape for the chilling story of a femme fatale. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in ghost stories and also the history and development of the genre. The book itself is beautifully produced with a suitably mysterious black and white cover and numerous scholarly footnotes conveniently placed at the end of each relevant page. For those interested in going further into the history of Vernon Lee and her place within fin-de-siecle literature, there is a wide range of appendices also included.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Pithers on 21 May 2008
Format: Paperback
As mentioned in the review above, Vernon Lee is an overlooked Victorian author. Her stories are not only chilling, but provide a facinating insight into Victorian culture, especially gender relations and sexuality. For those thinking of reading this text for academic purposes, I would say that the editors of this text give good footnotes which really enhance the reading of each of the tales. Furthermore, I also found their secondary reading section of immense help.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vernon Lee's stories feature vivid descriptions, fascinating and multi-textured characters who's narration provide an engaging human background to the scary and haunting stories. Although the tales are at times peppered with a few to many classic and literary allusions and quotes in foreign languages, Maxwell and Pulham's annotations provide clear and detailed explanations of what Lee is talking about. It also features 4 appendixes which provide lots of critical information about the writers that influence Lee's work and a fascinating introduction which helps shed light on the author and her scary and wonderfully told stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Thank you Pulham and Maxwell! 5 Jan 2007
By Wildeguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At long last a nice affordable scholarly edition of Lee's short stories. The editors did an excellent job of keeping up with Lee's often overwhelming citational practices. "A Wedding Chest" is daunting to read with all of its Latin and Umbrian historical references. Most readers probably would not be able to decipher the rich context of Lee's exotic phrases: "magnae odor sanctitatis" anyone? This edition should help students reading Lee for the first time to grasp the historical and artistic context in which Lee wrote.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Atmospheric tales of obsession 10 May 2011
By Patto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vernon Lee was a learned young woman. At age twenty-four, she published a critical study of eighteenth-century Italy that made her name in the literary and artistic circles of 1880. The very erudition that impressed her contemporaries, however, calls for the help of editors today. Broadview, as usual, has done a great job of explaining Lee's allusions and putting her into context.

At the same time, I must confess I sometimes skimmed the footnotes. Vernon Lee's tales have a quirky emotional energy that swept me along irresistibly.

This edition combines a story collection called Hauntings and miscellaneous tales that showcase Lee's eccentric imagination.

One of the longer stories, "Oke of Okehurst; or The Phantom Lover," is to my mind a masterpiece of the literature of obsession. I would urge readers to buy this book for "The Phantom Lover," if nothing else. The prose style is technically dazzling and the psychological complexity of the characters unbelievably rich.

The narrator is an artist who's been commissioned to paint Mr. and Mrs. Oke. Alice Oke confounds him with her absent gaze and far-away smile. The atmosphere in the Oke mansion is heavy with ancestors, and in fact, the painter soon discovers that Alice Oke of 1880 is consumed by the spirit of Alice Oke of 1626, a proud and dangerous woman. This mania will lead to no good.

Vernon Lee, in her introduction to Hauntings, declares her preference for ghosts from the remote past. In "Amour Dure," a young Polish historian falls under the spell of a terrifying beauty dead three hundred years. In "A Wicked Voice," it's the musical spirit of an androgynous eighteenth-century singer who unhinges the mind of the protagonist.

The introduction paints an intriguing picture of Vernon Lee, who did her best to mystify future biographers. She eludes categorization - too decadent to be a true Victorian, too exotic to be a strict Modernist.

Lee's luscious prose is not always easy reading. But having dived into it, I'm glad I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
contents 6 Jan 2013
By Carnack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Preface to Hauntings (1890) -- Amour dure (1887, 1890) -- Dionea (1890) -- Oke of Okehurst (1886, 1890) -- A wicked voice (1887, 1890) -- Prince Alberic and the snake lady (1896) -- A wedding chest (1904) -- Preface to The virgin of the seven daggers (1927) -- The virgin of the seven daggers (1896, 1909,1927) -- Appendix A: From Algernon Charles Swinburne, "Notes on designs of the old masters at Florence" (1868, 1875) -- Appendix B: From Walter Pater, "Pico della Mirandula" (1871, 1873) -- Appendix C: From Walter Pater, "Lionardo da Vinci" (1869, 1873) -- Appendix D: Vernon Lee, "Faustus and Helena: notes on the supernatural in art" (1880, 1881) -- Appendix E: A. Mary F. Robinson, "Before a bust of Venus" (1881) -- Appendix F: Eugene Lee-Hamilton, "The mandolin" (1882) -- Appendix G: A. Mary F. Robinson, "The ladies of Milan" (1889) -- Appendix H: Eugene Lee-Hamilton, "On a surf-rolled torso of Venus" (1884, 1894) -- Appendix I: Vernon Lee, "Out of Venice at last" (1925).
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