Hauntings and Other Fantastic Tales
Vernon Lee writes in the Preface to Hauntings, “My ghosts are what you call spurious ghosts... of whom I can affirm only one thing, that they haunted certain brains, and have haunted, among others, my own.” First published in 1890, Lee’s most famous volume of supernatural tales occupies a special place in the literature of the fantastic for its treatment of the femme fatale and the allure of the past, along with the themes of thwarted artistic creativity and psychological obsession. This collection, which includes the four stories originally published in Hauntings and three others, enables readers to consider Lee’s work anew for its subtle redefinitions of gender and sexuality during the Victorian fin-de-siècle.
The appendices, which include extensive excerpts from writings by Lee’s predecessors and peers, including Algernon Charles Swinburne, Walter Pater, and Lee’s brother Eugene Lee-Hamilton, allow the reader to see how Lee takes on the themes and preoccupations of the late-Victorian period but adapts them to her own purposes.
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A Brief Chronology
Preface to Hauntings 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
From Algernon Charles Swinburne Notes
A Mary F Robinson Before a Bust of Venus