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The Virgin of the Seven Daggers by Vernon…
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The Virgin of the Seven Daggers (1955)

by Vernon Lee

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"These are supernatural horror stories full of things that cause obsessions."
read more at: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/virgin-of-seven-daggers-vernon-lee... ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Aug 15, 2012 |
The British Victorian author Violet Paget (1856–1935) was considered an authority on Italian Renaissance art and aesthetics, along with Walter Pater and John Addington Symonds. She was born in France to English parents, and spent most of her life in Italy, living in Florence for many years. Using the pseudonym Vernon Lee, she published a number of works on aesthetics, such as Euphorion: Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the Renaissance and Renaissance Fancies And Studies Being A Sequel To Euphorion.

Beside this body of non-fiction and essays on art and travel, she published several novellas and short story collections of ghost stories and supernatural fiction. The Virgin of the Seven Daggers. Excursions into fantasy, published by Penguin Books in 2011 is a representative selection from her fiction.

The first in the collection is Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady, which originally appeared in 1895. This is a rather long (60 pp.) brooding story about a young prince who becomes obsessed by a mermaid or snake-like woman featured on a tapestry in his room. His obsession eventually drives him insane. Most stories are set in Italy and feature ghosts or out-of-body experiences. The last story in the collection, The Virgin of the Seven Daggers is set in Spain.

Most stories have a slow start, and do not really become interesting until in the final pages. However, the twist at the end is in most cases surprising and original, though not very frightening. The scene of most of the stories is very Italianate. Descriptions are very elaborate, and some turns of the authorial voice in the stories seemed to suggest that the stories were written to be read aloud to the family. Perhaps, these stories could best be enjoyed as an audio-book. ( )
2 vote edwinbcn | May 4, 2012 |
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Penguin's collection The Virgin of the seven daggers contains the same stories as Arena's Supernatural Tales, in the same order: 1. Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady 2. A wedding chest 3. Amour Dure 4. A Wicked Voice 5. The Legend of Madam Krasinska 6. The Virgin of the Seven Daggers.
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The brutal Don Juan - an unrepentant sinner - makes a pact with the Virgin of the Seven Daggers. He promises to forever proclaim her supreme beauty and asks that in return she save him from damnation. Emboldened by the deal and driven by insatiable greed, he embarks on a necromantic journey to an enchanted palace beneath the Alhambra.… (more)

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