A Whisper in the Dark: Twelve Thrilling Tales by Louisa May Alcott
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From the author of Little Women comes a collection of gothic, romantic, and spellbinding tales guaranteed to surprise and delight.
This collection represents the best of Alcott's adult oeuvre, starting with ''A Modern Mephistopheles,'' a dark Faustian tale inspired by A Long Fatal Love Chase. The stories in this volume display dramatic intensity and thrilling, suspenseful plots that show Alcott to be a complex and passionate writer. Listeners will discover within this maelstrom of murder, deceit, obsessive desire, treachery, duplicity, and betrayal that love and honor can still conquer all.
The book takes its title from the tale ''A Whisper in the Dark,'' arguably Alcott's gothic masterpiece, a story of imperiled innocence. Also featured are ''The Abbot's Ghost,'' one of Alcott's few supernatural thrillers; ''Perilous Play,'' a sensationalist story in which she suggests that with the appropriate stimulation - in this case hashish - even the innocent reveal a dark side; and ''V. V.; or Plots and Counterplots,'' which introduces the mysterious Virginie Varens, the darkest heroine in all her work.
folded on its breast. It was Effie, as I had never seen her before. Some new freak possessed her, for with her girlish dress she seemed to have laid her girlhood by. The brown locks were gathered up, wreathing the small head like a coronet; aërial lace and silken vesture shimmered in the light, and became her well. She looked and moved a fairy queen, stately and small. I watched her in a silent maze, for the face with its shy blushes and downcast eyes did not seem the childish one turned frankly
Mrs. Berkeley she should see this wonderful hair of yours, for she could not believe my account of it. The dressing-bell will ring directly, so you may gratify us without making more work for Gabrielle.” “Willingly, dear Lady Lennox; anything for you!” As she spoke with affectionate good will, Mrs. Vane rose, drew out a comb or two, and a stream of golden hair rippled far below her knee. Mrs. Berkeley exclaimed, and Diana praised, while watching with a very natural touch of envy the charming
that vivid, silvery green, which is so ruinous to any but the purest complexion, so ravishing when worn by one whose fresh bloom defies all hues. The skirt swept long behind her, and the Pompadour waist, with its flowing sleeves, displayed a neck and arms of dazzling fairness, half concealed by a film of costly lace. No jewels but an antique opal ring, attached by a slender chain to a singular bracelet, or wide band of enchased gold. A single deep-hued flower glowed on her bosom, and in that
like a massive ring of gold; this he laid before her, saying, with a softened mien and accent— “You were very kind—I have nothing else to offer—let me give you this, in memory of Gladys.” Only a tress of sunny hair; but Olivia received the gift as if it were a very precious one, thanking him, not only with wet eyes, but friendly words. “Dear Felix, for her sake let me help you, if I can. Do not go away so lonely, purposeless, and poor. The world is hard; you will be disheartened, and turn
lightly, and till the last five years of my life, sorrow, pain, and care have been strangers to me,” she said, in pure English, and with a faint smile on her pale lips. “I am of good family, but misfortune overtook us, and at seventeen I was left an orphan, poor, and nearly friendless. Before trouble could touch me, Florimond married and took me away to a luxurious home in Normandy. He was much older than myself, but he has been fond as a father, as faithful, tender and devoted as a lover all