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Vernon Lee (1856–1935)

Author of The Virgin of the Seven Daggers

91+ Works 728 Members 9 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Vernon Lee was born Violet Paget in 1856. Although best remembered for the bewitching ghost stories she wrote between 1881 and 1913, she was also a fervent pacifist who wrote extensively and innovatively on the art of writing and the morality of art itself. She died in 1935
Image credit: Vernon Lee, by John Singer Sargent, 1881. Wikimedia Commons.

Works by Vernon Lee

The Virgin of the Seven Daggers (1955) — Author — 137 copies
Hauntings (1990) 71 copies
A Phantom Lover (1997) 35 copies
Miss Brown (1884) 14 copies
Amour dure y otros relatos (1990) 10 copies
Vanitas: Polite Stories (2004) 9 copies
The Countess of Albany (2009) 9 copies
Amour Dure (2014) 7 copies
Limbo and Other Essays (2004) 4 copies
Marsyas in Flanders (2016) 3 copies
Presencias (2023) 3 copies
Les épées de l'effroi (1970) 3 copies
Satan the Waster (2020) 3 copies
Sobre el estilo (2023) 2 copies
Embrujada (2019) 2 copies
In Praise of Old Gardens (2010) 2 copies
Possessioni 2 copies
Hortus Vitae (2017) 1 copy
Otilia 1 copy
Ossessioni 1 copy
Music and its Lovers (2018) 1 copy
Het serpent 1 copy
Vital lies 1 copy
A Vernon Lee Anthology (1929) 1 copy
El Fantasma enamorat (1987) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories (1986) — Contributor — 548 copies
Fantastic Tales: Visionary and Everyday (1983) — Contributor — 438 copies
Late Victorian Gothic Tales (2005) — Contributor — 191 copies
The Phantom of the Opera and Other Gothic Tales (2018) — Contributor — 188 copies
The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (2019) — Contributor — 173 copies
Five Victorian Ghost Novels (1971) — Contributor — 142 copies
The Supernatural Omnibus (1931) — Contributor — 141 copies
The Virago Book of Victorian Ghost Stories (1988) — Contributor — 135 copies
The Dedalus Book of Decadence (1990) — Contributor — 98 copies
Classic Ghost Stories (2010) — Contributor — 77 copies
Ghost Stories and Other Horrid Tales (1997) — Contributor — 61 copies
Pirates & Ghosts Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2017) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Second Dedalus Book of Decadence the Black Feast (1992) — Contributor — 50 copies
The Sixth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1970) — Contributor — 42 copies
The Screaming Skull and Other Classic Horror Stories (2010) — Contributor — 37 copies
Medusa's Daughters (2020) — Contributor — 36 copies
100 Tiny Tales of Terror (1996) — Contributor — 33 copies
Angels of Darkness: Tales of Troubled and Troubling Women (1995) — Contributor — 27 copies
Venice Stories (2018) — Contributor — 26 copies
The Dedalus Book of Femmes Fatales (1992) — Contributor — 24 copies
Horror by Lamplight (1993) — Contributor — 18 copies
Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery (1937) — Contributor — 13 copies
The Religion of Beauty: Selections from the Aesthetes (1950) — Contributor — 11 copies
Tales of the Undead: Vampires and Visitants (1947) — Contributor, some editions — 9 copies
Klassieke griezelverhalen (1980) — Contributor — 8 copies
Night | A Lasting Love | Chickamauga — Contributor — 1 copy
幻想文学 (63) (2002) — Contributor — 1 copy
イギリス怪談集 (河出文庫) (1990) — Contributor — 1 copy
The Adventure of the Snowing Globe and other stories (1999) — Contributor — 1 copy


19th century (88) 20th century (26) anthology (414) British (19) British literature (27) classics (25) collection (23) decadence (61) ebook (26) English literature (43) fantasy (144) fantasy etc (16) feminism (41) fiction (498) fin de siecle (28) Folio Society (26) ghost stories (134) ghosts (90) gothic (98) hardcover (19) horror (345) Kindle (33) literature (82) novel (16) poetry (20) read (17) short fiction (35) short stories (486) short story (18) stories (27) supernatural (62) supernatural fiction (22) to-read (229) unread (39) vampire (16) vampires (60) Vernon Lee (25) Victorian (65) Virago (30) women (53)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Lee, Vernon
Legal name
Paget, Violet
Date of death
France (birth)
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Place of death
San Gervasio Bresciano, Italy
Places of residence
short story writer
political activist (show all 7)
travel writer
James, Henry (friend)
Holdsworth, Annie E (sister-in-law)
Lee-Hamilton, Eugene (half-brother)
Willis, Irene Cooper (companion)
Union of Democratic Control
Short biography
Vernon Lee was the pen name of Violet Paget, born in Boulogne, France to British parents traveling on the continent. She was a half-sister of poet Eugene Lee-Hamilton, from whose name she derived her pseudonym. She was a skilled harpsichord player, and her love of music inspired her first major work, Studies of the Eighteenth Century in Italy (1880). However, she is remembered today primarily for her supernatural fiction, which many critics consider the best of the 19th century. She also wrote more than a dozen volumes of essays on art, literary theory, music, and travel. In middle age, she became a supporter of women’s suffrage, a pacifist, and an expert in international relations. As a member of the Union of Democratic Control, she wrote Peace with Honour: Controversial Notes on the Settlement (1915) about the group's proposals for an accord with Germany to end World War I.



THE DEEP ONES: "Dionea" by Vernon Lee in The Weird Tradition (January 2022)


filbo_2024 | Apr 24, 2024 |
I stumbled into this book when Baileys had a campaign of women authors publishing under a pseudonym. Reclaim her name -campaign offered free e-books and I decided to read this. It was like many gothic stories very descriptive. Not too much happened and from the beginning it was quite clear where it was going. In that sense the story was even boring. However, I found the language quite fascinating and modern.
Lady_Lazarus | 1 other review | Oct 22, 2021 |
CONTENTS: Introduction by David G. Rowlands; Vernon Lee by Irene Cooper Willis; Amour Dure; Dionea; Oke of Okehurst, or, A Phantom Lover; A Wicked Voice; Pope Jacynth; Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady; The Lady and Death; St Eudaemon and his Orange-Tree; A Wedding Chest; The Gods and Ritter Tanhûser; Marsyas in Flanders; The Virgin of the Seven Daggers; Winthrop's Adventure; The Doll; The Legend of Madame Krasinska; Sister Benvenuta and the Christ Child; The Hidden Door; Ravenna and Her Ghosts; Faustus and Helena: The Supernatural in Art.… (more)
Crypto-Willobie | Apr 18, 2018 |
The young prince Alberic, only and much-neglected heir to his grandfather, the duke of Luna, becomes obsessed with the legend of his medieval ancestor, also called Alberic, and his relationship with the Snake Lady, a fairy trapped in snake form for 23 h a day unless redeemed by true love. Might the immortal fairy still be around? Meanwhile his grandfather's ministers plot and scheme for the day when the younger Alberic shall inherit the duchy.

I rather liked this story, which held some suspense - the ending did surprise me, though it's not particularly a twist - and is told with gentle irony and humour.

The protagonist's name - it may be no accident that it means "Elf-King" - inevitably reminded me of Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter, whose protagonist goes by the variant Alveric. I could believe Dunsany was inspired to use the name by this; there's some kinship in spirit between the tales, although here the supernatural seems to share our familiar world rather than invade from Beyond the Fields We Know.
… (more)
1 vote
AndreasJ | Apr 18, 2018 |


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