Eveline’s Visitant by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror February 12, 2013
The dark side of nature in Victorian times (1830s to 1900) was a fascination by many, including writers. Ghost stories were especially popular and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Eveline’s Visitant is a part of English literature that we can certainly savor. Women writers at the time brought a special atmosphere of evil and fear, and Braddon is among the best of them.
We begin at a masked ball at the Palais Royal in France. Andre de Brissac is murdered by his cousin, Hector, the narrator of our story. As Andre lay dying on the ground—and despite Hector’s plea for forgiveness—Andre vows his ghostly hand to return and drop a poison into Hector’s “cup of joy.”
Hector becomes a rich man by Andre’s death. But he is miserable with this inherited wealth, with becoming master of the Andre’s chateau, Puy Verdun, where he is totally disliked by all—servants, neighbors, even the villagers.
Here the author Braddon employs the powers of the love story. Hector falls for an angelic young woman, Eveline, in Paris. He feels redeemed as Eveline is deeply in love with him. They marry and live happily ever after at the chateau Puy Verdun … or do they?
Shadows of the dead prevail.
As predictable as this story may be, the writing is expertly executed with suspense in character and plot and the ending truly haunting.
Read it here:
If you’d like to read more of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s work, try The Cold Embrace http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/coldembr.htm
And The Shadow in the Corner
Stop by next Tuesday for another Tale of Terror.