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Tales of Mystery & Imagination

· H. G. Wells: The Flying Man · David Lynch: Someone is in my House. Retrospectief in Bonnefantenmuseum · The Unknown Poe. An Anthology of Fugitive Writings by Edgar Allan Poe · Frankenstein: The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley · Nadine Akkerman: Invisible Agents Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain · The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells · Jo Nesbø: Macbeth. Blut wird mit Blut bezahlt (Thriller) · Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds · Rachel Feder: Harvester of Hearts. Motherhood under the Sign of Frankenstein · Tori Telfer: Lady Killers. Deadly Women Throughout History · Stephen King: The Outsider. A Novel · Edgar Allan Poe: The Cask of Amontillado

»» there is more...

H. G. Wells: The Flying Man

The Flying Man

The Ethnologist looked at the bhimraj feather thoughtfully. “They seemed loth to part with it,” he said.

“It is sacred to the Chiefs,” said the lieutenant; “just as yellow silk, you know, is sacred to the Chinese Emperor.”

The Ethnologist did not answer. He hesitated. Then opening the topic abruptly, “What on earth is this cock-and-bull story they have of a flying man?”

The lieutenant smiled faintly. “What did they tell you?”

“I see,” said the Ethnologist, “that you know of your fame.”

The lieutenant rolled himself a cigarette. “I don’t mind hearing about it once more. How does it stand at present?”

“It’s so confoundedly childish,” said the Ethnologist, becoming irritated. “How did you play it off upon them?”

The lieutenant made no answer, but lounged back in his folding-chair, still smiling.

“Here am I, come four hundred miles out of my way to get what is left of the folk-lore of these people, before they are utterly demoralised by missionaries and the military, and all I find are a lot of impossible legends about a sandy-haired scrub of an infantry lieutenant. How he is invulnerable — how he can jump over elephants — how he can fly. That’s the toughest nut. One old gentleman described your wings, said they had black plumage and were not quite as long as a mule. Said he often saw you by moonlight hovering over the crests out towards the Shendu country. — Confound it, man!”

The lieutenant laughed cheerfully. “Go on,” he said. “Go on.”

The Ethnologist did. At last he wearied. “To trade so,” he said, “on these unsophisticated children of the mountains. How could you bring yourself to do it, man?”

“I’m sorry,” said the lieutenant, “but truly the thing was forced upon me. I can assure you I was driven to it. And at the time I had not the faintest idea of how the Chin imagination would take it. Or curiosity. I can only plead it was an indiscretion and not malice that made me replace the folk-lore by a new legend. But as you seem aggrieved, I will try and explain the business to you.

“It was in the time of the last Lushai expedition but one, and Walters thought these people you have been visiting were friendly. So, with an airy confidence in my capacity for taking care of myself, he sent me up the gorge — fourteen miles of it — with three of the Derbyshire men and half a dozen Sepoys, two mules, and his blessing, to see what popular feeling was like at that village you visited. A force of ten — not counting the mules — fourteen miles, and during a war! You saw the road?”

“Road!” said the Ethnologist.

“It’s better now than it was. When we went up we had to wade in the river for a mile where the valley narrows, with a smart stream frothing round our knees and the stones as slippery as ice. There it was I dropped my rifle. Afterwards the Sappers blasted the cliff with dynamite and made the convenient way you came by. Then below, where those very high cliffs come, we had to keep on dodging across the river — I should say we crossed it a dozen times in a couple of miles.

“We got in sight of the place early the next morning. You know how it lies, on a spur halfway between the big hills, and as we began to appreciate how wickedly quiet the village lay under the sunlight, we came to a stop to consider.

“At that they fired a lump of filed brass idol at us, just by way of a welcome. It came twanging down the slope to the right of us where the boulders are, missed my shoulder by an inch or so, and plugged the mule that carried all the provisions and utensils. I never heard such a death-rattle before or since. And at that we became aware of a number of gentlemen carrying matchlocks, and dressed in things like plaid dusters, dodging about along the neck between the village and the crest to the east.

“‘Right about face,’ I said. ‘Not too close together.’

“And with that encouragement my expedition of ten men came round and set off at a smart trot down the valley again hitherward. We did not wait to save anything our dead had carried, but we kept the second mule with us — he carried my tent and some other rubbish — out of a feeling of friendship.

“So ended the battle — ingloriously. Glancing back, I saw the valley dotted with the victors, shouting and firing at us. But no one was hit. These Chins and their guns are very little good except at a sitting shot. They will sit and finick over a boulder for hours taking aim, and when they fire running it is chiefly for stage effect. Hooker, one of the Derbyshire men, fancied himself rather with the rifle, and stopped behind for half a minute to try his luck as we turned the bend. But he got nothing.

“I’m not a Xenophon to spin much of a yarn about my retreating army. We had to pull the enemy up twice in the next two miles when he became a bit pressing, by exchanging shots with him, but it was a fairly monotonous affair — hard breathing chiefly — until we got near the place where the hills run in towards the river and pinch the valley into a gorge. And there we very luckily caught a glimpse of half a dozen round black heads coming slanting-ways over the hill to the left of us — the east that is — and almost parallel with us.

“At that I called a halt. ‘Look here,’ says I to Hooker and the other Englishmen; ‘what are we to do now?’ and I pointed to the heads.

“‘Headed orf, or I’m a nigger,’ said one of the men.

“‘We shall be,’ said another. ‘You know the Chin way, George?’

“‘They can pot every one of us at fifty yards,’ says Hooker, ‘in the place where the river is narrow. It’s just suicide to go on down.’

“I looked at the hill to the right of us. It grew steeper lower down the valley, but it still seemed climbable. And all the Chins we had seen hitherto had been on the other side of the stream.

“‘It’s that or stopping,’ says one of the Sepoys.

“So we started slanting up the hill. There was something faintly suggestive of a road running obliquely up the face of it, and that we followed. Some Chins presently came into view up the valley, and I heard some shots. Then I saw one of the Sepoys was sitting down about thirty yards below us. He had simply sat down without a word, apparently not wishing to give trouble. At that I called a halt again; I told Hooker to try another shot, and went back and found the man was hit in the leg. I took him up, carried him along to put him on the mule — already pretty well laden with the tent and other things which we had no time to take off. When I got up to the rest with him, Hooker had his empty Martini in his hand, and was grinning and pointing to a motionless black spot up the valley. All the rest of the Chins were behind boulders or back round the bend. ‘Five hundred yards,’ says Hooker, ‘if an inch. And I’ll swear I hit him in the head.’

“I told him to go and do it again, and with that we went on again.

“Now the hillside kept getting steeper as we pushed on, and the road we were following more and more of a shelf. At last it was mere cliff above and below us. ‘It’s the best road I have seen yet in Chin Lushai land,’ said I to encourage the men, though I had a fear of what was coming.

“And in a few minutes the way bent round a corner of the cliff. Then, finis! the ledge came to an end.

“As soon as he grasped the position one of the Derbyshire men fell a-swearing at the trap we had fallen into. The Sepoys halted quietly. Hooker grunted and reloaded, and went back to the bend.

“Then two of the Sepoy chaps helped their comrade down and began to unload the mule.

“Now, when I came to look about me, I began to think we had not been so very unfortunate after all. We were on a shelf perhaps ten yards across it at widest. Above it the cliff projected so that we could not be shot down upon, and below was an almost sheer precipice of perhaps two or three hundred feet. Lying down we were invisible to anyone across the ravine. The only approach was along the ledge, and on that one man was as good as a host. We were in a natural stronghold, with only one disadvantage, our sole provision against hunger and thirst was one live mule. Still we were at most eight or nine miles from the main expedition, and no doubt, after a day or so, they would send up after us if we did not return.

“After a day or so . . . ”

The lieutenant paused. “Ever been thirsty, Graham?”

“Not that kind,” said the Ethnologist.

“H’m. We had the whole of that day, the night, and the next day of it, and only a trifle of dew we wrung out of our clothes and the tent. And below us was the river going giggle, giggle, round a rock in mid stream. I never knew such a barrenness of incident, or such a quantity of sensation. The sun might have had Joshua’s command still upon it for all the motion one could see; and it blazed like a near furnace. Towards the evening of the first day one of the Derbyshire men said something — nobody heard what — and went off round the bend of the cliff. We heard shots, and when Hooker looked round the corner he was gone. And in the morning the Sepoy whose leg was shot was in delirium, and jumped or fell over the cliff. Then we took the mule and shot it, and that must needs go over the cliff too in its last struggles, leaving eight of us.

“We could see the body of the Sepoy down below, with the head in the water. He was lying face downwards, and so far as I could make out was scarcely smashed at all. Badly as the Chins might covet his head, they had the sense to leave it alone until the darkness came.

“At first we talked of all the chances there were of the main body hearing the firing, and reckoned whether they would begin to miss us, and all that kind of thing, but we dried up as the evening came on. The Sepoys played games with bits of stone among themselves, and afterwards told stories. The night was rather chilly. The second day nobody spoke. Our lips were black and our throats afire, and we lay about on the ledge and glared at one another. Perhaps it’s as well we kept our thoughts to ourselves. One of the British soldiers began writing some blasphemous rot on the rock with a bit of pipeclay, about his last dying will, until I stopped it. As I looked over the edge down into the valley and saw the river rippling I was nearly tempted to go after the Sepoy. It seemed a pleasant and desirable thing to go rushing down through the air with something to drink — or no more thirst at any rate — at the bottom. I remembered in time, though, that I was the officer in command, and my duty to set a good example, and that kept me from any such foolishness.

“Yet, thinking of that, put an idea into my head. I got up and looked at the tent and tent ropes, and wondered why I had not thought of it before. Then I came and peered over the cliff again. This time the height seemed greater and the pose of the Sepoy rather more painful. But it was that or nothing. And to cut it short, I parachuted.

“I got a big circle of canvas out of the tent, about three times the size of that table-cover, and plugged the hole in the centre, and I tied eight ropes round it to meet in the middle and make a parachute. The other chaps lay about and watched me as though they thought it was a new kind of delirium. Then I explained my notion to the two British soldiers and how I meant to do it, and as soon as the short dusk had darkened into night, I risked it. They held the thing high up, and I took a run the whole length of the ledge. The thing filled with air like a sail, but at the edge I will confess I funked and pulled up.

“As soon as I stopped I was ashamed of myself — as well I might be in front of privates — and went back and started again. Off I jumped this time — with a kind of sob, I remember — clean into the air, with the big white sail bellying out above me.

“I must have thought at a frightful pace. It seemed a long time before I was sure that the thing meant to keep steady. At first it heeled sideways. Then I noticed the face of the rock which seemed to be streaming up past me, and me motionless. Then I looked down and saw in the darkness the river and the dead Sepoy rushing up towards me. But in the indistinct light I also saw three Chins, seemingly aghast at the sight of me, and that the Sepoy was decapitated. At that I wanted to go back again.

“Then my boot was in the mouth of one, and in a moment he and I were in a heap with the canvas fluttering down on the top of us. I fancy I dashed out his brains with my foot. I expected nothing more than to be brained myself by the other two, but the poor heathen had never heard of Baldwin, and incontinently bolted.

“I struggled out of the tangle of dead Chin and canvas, and looked round. About ten paces off lay the head of the Sepoy staring in the moonlight. Then I saw the water and went and drank. There wasn’t a sound in the world but the footsteps of the departing Chins, a faint shout from above, and the gluck of the water. So soon as I had drunk my full I started off down the river.

“That about ends the explanation of the flying man story. I never met a soul the whole eight miles of the way. I got to Walters’ camp by ten o’clock, and a born idiot of a sentinel had the cheek to fire at me as I came trotting out of the darkness. So soon as I had hammered my story into Winter’s thick skull, about fifty men started up the valley to clear the Chins out and get our men down. But for my own part I had too good a thirst to provoke it by going with them.

“You have heard what kind of a yarn the Chins made of it. Wings as long as a mule, eh? — And black feathers! The gay lieutenant bird! Well, well.”

The lieutenant meditated cheerfully for a moment. Then he added, “You would scarcely credit it, but when they got to the ridge at last, they found two more of the Sepoys had jumped over.”

“The rest were all right?” asked the Ethnologist.

“Yes,” said the lieutenant; “the rest were all right, barring a certain thirst, you know.”

And at the memory he helped himself to soda and whisky again.

Herbert George Wells
(1866-1946)
The Stolen Bacillus and other incidents
short stories

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: - Book Lovers, Archive W-X, H.G. Wells, Tales of Mystery & Imagination, Wells, H.G.


David Lynch: Someone is in my House. Retrospectief in Bonnefantenmuseum

Vanaf 30 november 2018 tot 28 april 2019 presenteert het Bonnefantenmuseum het omvangrijke retrospectief Someone is in my House van de Amerikaanse kunstenaar David Lynch.

Hoewel David Lynch onmiskenbaar een spilfiguur is in de internationale film- en tv-wereld, is zijn werk als beeldend kunstenaar veel minder bekend. Dat is op zijn minst vreemd, aangezien Lynch zelf altijd heeft bena­drukt dat hij zichzelf vóór alles ziet als beeldend kunste­naar.

Een beeldend kunstenaar die tijdens zijn studie aan de kunstacademie toevallig in aanraking kwam met het medium film, waarmee de basis gelegd werd voor zijn carrière als filmregisseur.

Naast zijn werk als regisseur is Lynch altijd actief gebleven als beeldend kunstenaar en heeft hij in de afgelopen decennia een grenzeloos oeuvre gecreëerd van onder andere schilderijen, tekeningen, litho’s, foto’s, lampsculpturen, muziek en installaties.

Een oeuvre dat tot nu toe nog maar zelden is belicht en in musea werd getoond. Met ruim 500 werken brengt het Bonnefantenmuseum niet alleen de eerste Nederlandse museumpresentatie van Lynch’ beeldend oeuvre, maar ook de grootste overzichtstentoonstelling ooit.

David Lynch: Someone is in my House
30.11.2018 – 28.04.2019

David Lynch, beeldend kunstenaar

Anders dan het werk van Lynch (1946, Missoula, Montana, VS), vol duister geweld en seksua­liteit, doet vermoeden, is de kindertijd van de kunstenaar en filmmaker ge­lukkig en liefdevol.
Lynch groeit op met reislustige ouders en leidt op jonge leeftijd een nomadenbestaan, een voor hem idyllische en veilige omgeving. Van jongs af aan aangemoedigd om zich creatief te ontplooien – kleurboeken waren uit den boze, eigen verbeelding gebruiken was het credo – komt hij uiteindelijk op de Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia terecht om schilderkunst te studeren.

Hier ontwikkelt Lynch zijn artistieke vocabulaire en thema’s die blijvend aanwezig zullen zijn in zijn werk. En hier ligt de voedingsbodem voor zijn eerste mixed-media installatie met stop-motion film Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) (1967), die een opmaat vormde naar zijn eerste speelfilm, Eraserhead (1977). De rest is (film)geschiedenis en inmiddels zijn Lynch’ films moderne klassiekers.

Lynch’ kunstenaarschap loopt als een rode draad door zijn leven en films. Hij is gedurende zijn vijftigjarige carrière altijd blijven tekenen en schilde­ren, ook als er vanwege zijn werk als filmregisseur weinig tijd was om in het atelier door te brengen.

“I miss painting when I’m not painting”, zegt Lynch zelf in de recente biografie Room to Dream. * David Lynch en Kristine McKenna. Room to Dream. Edinburgh, Canongate Books, 2018, p. 301

 

In samenwerking met David Lynch toont het Bonnefanten een indrukwekkend artistiek overzicht van het veelzijdige kunstenaarschap van Lynch.

De tentoonstelling omvat schilderijen, foto’s, tekeningen, litho’s en aquarellen uit de jaren 60 tot heden, unieke tekeningen op luciferboekjes uit de jaren 70, schetsboektekeningen uit de jaren 60/70/80, zwart-wit foto’s uit verschillende periodes, waaronder de befaamde Snow Men-fotoserie (1993), cartoons uit de serie The Angriest Dog in the World (1982-1993), audiowerken én een aantal kortfilms uit 1968-2015.

Voor het eerst sinds het ontstaan in 1967, zal ook het allesbepalende academiewerk Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) in een museumtentoonstelling te zien zijn.

Publicatie

Bij de tentoonstelling verschijnt een rijk geïllustreerde monografie met tekstbijdragen van curator Stijn Huijts (artistiek directeur Bonnefantenmuseum), Kristine McKenna (journalist en curator, Verenigde Staten), Petra Giloy-Hirtz (schrijver en curator, Duitsland) en Michael Chabon (schrijver, Verenigde Staten). De publicatie is verkrijgbaar in het Nederlands, Engels en Frans en wordt uitgegeven door Uitgeverij Hannibal in samenwerking met Prestel.

Tentoonstellingsteaser

In aanloop naar zijn omvangrijke retrospectief Someone is in my House, maakte Lynch speciaal voor het Bonnefanten een unieke tentoonstellingsteaser. In deze typisch Lynchiaanse kortfilm, met in de hoofdrol naast Lynch zelf de ‘White Monkey’ – een personage dat eerder opdook in Lynch’ Weird daily weather report – nodigt hij de kijker uit om naar het Bonnefanten te komen.

Flankerend programma

Parallel aan de tentoonstelling is er in samenwerking met Lumière Cinema in Maastricht een compleet filmretrospectief gewijd aan de films en het leven van David Lynch met filmvertoningen, documentaires en lezingen over de filmmaker.

Daarnaast brengt EYE filmmuseum drie digitaal gerestaureerde films opnieuw uit in de filmtheaters in heel het land. Voor meer informatie: https://www.eyefilm.nl/themas/gerestaureerde-david-lynch-klassiekers

De philharmonie zuidnederland werkte met de Poolse componist Marek Zebrowski aan een compositie en uitvoering van Music for David, een strijkkwartet dat Zebrowski in 2015 componeerde als een hommage aan Lynch, die op zijn beurt de korte animatie film Pożar (Fire) maakte bij Zebrowski’s compositie. Het muziekstuk zal een aantal keren live (op zaal) bij de film ten gehore worden gebracht.

# meer informatie op website Bonnefantenmuseum

# Expositie & publicatie
David Lynch: Someone is in my House
30.11.2018 – 28.04.2019

• photos: jef van kempen

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: #Archive A-Z Sound Poetry, *Concrete + Visual Poetry K-O, - Book News, - Bookstores, Archive K-L, Art & Literature News, AUDIO, CINEMA, RADIO & TV, David Lynch, Exhibition Archive, FDM Art Gallery, Jef van Kempen Photos & Drawings, Museum of Literary Treasures, Photography, Tales of Mystery & Imagination, THEATRE


The Unknown Poe. An Anthology of Fugitive Writings by Edgar Allan Poe

An indispensable anthology of brilliant hard-to-find writings by Poe on poetry, the imagination, humor, and the sublime which adds a new dimension to his stature as a speculative thinker and philosopher. Essays (in translation) by Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Valéry, & André Breton shed light on Poe’s relevance within European literary tradition.

These are the arcana of Edgar Allan Poe: writings on wit, humor, dreams, drunkenness, genius, madness, and apocalypse. Here is the mind of Poe at its most colorful, its most incisive, and its most exceptional.

Edgar Allan Poe’s dark, melodic poems and tales of terror and detection are known to readers everywhere, but few are familiar with his cogent literary criticism, or his speculative thinking in science, psychology or philosophy. This book is an attempt to present his lesser known, out of print, or hard to find writings in a single volume, with emphasis on the theoretical and esoteric. The second part, “The Friend View,” includes seminal essays by Poe’s famous admirers in France, clarifying his international literary importance.

America has never seen such a personage as Edgar Allan Poe. He is a figure who appears once an epoch, before passing into myth. American critics from Henry James to T. S. Eliot have disparaged and attempted to explain away his influence to no end, save to perpetuate his fame. Even the disdainful Eliot once conceded, “and yet one cannot be sure that one’s own writing has not been influence by Poe.”

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), born in Boston, Massachusetts, was an American poet, writer, editor, and literary critic. He is well known for his haunting poetry and mysterious short stories. Regarded as being a central figure of Romanticism, he is also considered the inventor of detective fiction and the growing science fiction genre. Some of his most famous works include poems such as The Raven, Annabel Lee, and A Dream Within a Dream; tales such as The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of Red Death, and The Tell-Tale Heart.

Title: The Unknown Poe
Subtitle: An Anthology of Fugitive Writings
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Edited by Raymond Foye
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Format: Paperback
124 pages
1980
ISBN-10 0872861104
ISBN-13 9780872861107
List Price $11.95

# American writers
Edgar Allan Poe
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: - Book Lovers, - Book Stories, Archive O-P, Archive O-P, Art & Literature News, Edgar Allan Poe, Poe, Edgar Allan, Poe, Edgar Allan, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Frankenstein: The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley

For the bicentennial of its first publication, Mary Shelley’s original 1818 text, introduced by National Book Critics Circle award-winner Charlotte Gordon. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

2018 marks the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s seminal novel. For the first time, Penguin Classics will publish the original 1818 text, which preserves the hard-hitting and politically-charged aspects of Shelley’s original writing, as well as her unflinching wit and strong female voice. This edition also emphasizes Shelley’s relationship with her mother—trailblazing feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who penned A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—and demonstrates her commitment to carrying forward her mother’s ideals, placing her in the context of a feminist legacy rather than the sole female in the company of male poets, including Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.

This edition includes a new introduction and suggestions for further reading by National Book Critics Circle award-winner and Shelley expert Charlotte Gordon, literary excerpts and reviews selected by Gordon, and a chronology and essay by preeminent Shelley scholar Charles E. Robinson.

Mary Shelley: The daughter of Mary Wollestonecraft, the ardent feminist and author of A Vindication on the Right of Women, and William Godwin, the radical-anarchist philosopher and author of Lives of the Necromancers, Mary Goodwin was born into a freethinking, revolutionary household in London on August 30,1797. Educated mainly by her intellectual surroundings, she had little formal schooling and at 16 eloped with the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley; they eventually married in 1816. Mary Shelley’s life had many tragic elements. Her mother died giving birth to Mary; her half-sister committed suicide; Harriet Shelley (Percy’s wife) drowned herself and her unborn child after he ran off with Mary. William Godwin disowned Mary and Shelley after their elopement, but—heavily in debt—recanted and came to them for money; Mary’s first child died soon after its birth; and in 1822 Percy Shelley drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia—when Mary was not quite 25. Mary Shelley recalled that her husband was “forever inciting” her to “obtain literary reputation.” But she did not begin to write seriously until the summer of 1816, when she and Shelley were in Switzerland, neighbor to Lord Byron. One night following a contest to compose ghost stories, Mary conceived her masterpiece, Frankenstein. After Shelley’s death she continued to write Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), Ladore (1835), and Faulkner (1837), in addition to editing her husband’s works. In 1838 she began to work on his biography, but owing to poor health she completed only a fragment. Although she received marriage proposals from Trelawney, John Howard Payne, and perhaps Washington Irving, Mary Shelley never remarried. “I want to be Mary Shelley on my tombstone,” she is reported to have said. She died on February 1, 1851, survived by her son, Percy Florence.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Frankenstein: The 1818 Text
By Mary Shelley
Introduction by Charlotte Gordon
Contribution by Charlotte Gordon
Fiction Classics
Paperback
Penguin Random House
Published by Penguin Classics
Jan 16, 2018
288 Pages
ISBN 9780143131847
$10.00

# new books
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: - Book Lovers, - Book News, Archive S-T, Art & Literature News, Mary Shelley, Shelley, Mary, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Nadine Akkerman: Invisible Agents Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain

A compelling history of women in seventeenth century espionage, telling the forgotten tales of women from all walks of life who acted as spies in early modern Britain.

Nadine Akkerman has immersed herself in archives and letter collections, acting as a modern-day Spymistress to unearth plots and conspiracies that have long been hidden by history.

It would be easy for the modern reader to conclude that women had no place in the world of early modern espionage, with a few seventeenth-century women spies identified and then relegated to the footnotes of history.

If even the espionage carried out by Susan Hyde, sister of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, during the turbulent decades of civil strife in Britain can escape the historiographer’s gaze, then how many more like her lurk in the archives?

Nadine Akkerman’s search for an answer to this question has led to the writing of Invisible Agents, the very first study to analyse the role of early modern women spies, demonstrating that the allegedly-male world of the spy was more than merely infiltrated by women.

This compelling and ground-breaking contribution to the history of espionage details a series of case studies in which women – from playwright to postmistress, from lady-in-waiting to laundry woman – acted as spies, sourcing and passing on confidential information on account of political and religious convictions or to obtain money or power.

The struggle of the She-Intelligencers to construct credibility in their own time is mirrored in their invisibility in modern historiography.

Akkerman has immersed herself in archives, libraries, and private collections, transcribing hundreds of letters, breaking cipher codes and their keys, studying invisible inks, and interpreting riddles, acting as a modern-day Spymistress to unearth plots and conspiracies that have long remained hidden by history.

Nadine Akkerman is Reader in early modern English Literature at Leiden University and Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. She is author of the critically acclaimed Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain (OUP), and of The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (OUP), the third and final volume of which will be published in 2020, and is currently writing the definitive biography of Elizabeth Stuart. She has also published extensively on women’s history, diplomacy, and masques, and curated several exhibitions, including the popular Courtly Rivals at the Haags Historisch Museum. In 2017 she was elected to The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received a Special Recognition Award from the World Cultural Council.

Invisible Agents
Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain
Nadine Akkerman
Language: English
Oxford University Press
Hardcover
288 pages
Published: 12 July 2018
8 colour plates & 12 black and white images
234x156mm
ISBN-10: 0198823010
ISBN-13: 978-0198823018
£20.00

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Invisible Agents

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The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells was born Herbert George in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometimes shopkeeper, his mother a former lady’s maid.

Although “Bertie” left school at fourteen to become a draper’s apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893.

In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher’s salary. His other “scientific romances”—The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908)—won him the distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase “the war that will end war” to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: “Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me.”

The War of the Worlds (1898) conjures a terrifying, tentacled race of Martians who devastate the Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet. After the novel’s hero finds himself trapped in what is left of London, despairing at the destruction of human civilization, he discovers that life on Earth is more resilient than he had imagined. Adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama and subsequently by many filmmakers, H. G. Wells’s timeless story shows no sign of losing its grip on readers’ imaginations.

The War of the Worlds
By H.G. Wells
Category: Science Fiction
Paperback
Nov 06, 2018
192 Pages
$8.00
Published by Vintage
ISBN 9780525564164

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Jo Nesbø: Macbeth. Blut wird mit Blut bezahlt (Thriller)

Er kennt seine Feinde nur allzu gut. Inspector Macbeth ist der taffste Cop in einer maroden Industriestadt im Norden.

Einen Deal nach dem anderen lässt er hochgehen, die Drogenbosse beißen sich an ihm die Zähne aus. Doch irgendwann wird die Verlockung zu groß: Geld, Respekt, Macht. Schnell aber wird ihm klar, dass einer wie er, der schon in der Gosse war, niemals ganz nach oben kommen wird. Außer – er tötet.

Angestachelt von seiner Geliebten, schafft er sich einen Konkurrenten nach dem anderen vom Hals. In seinem Blutrausch merkt er nicht, dass er längst jenen dunklen Kräften verfallen ist, denen er einst den Kampf angesagt hat.

Jo Nesbø, 1960 geboren, ist Ökonom, Journalist, Musiker und zählt zu den renommiertesten und innovativsten Krimiautoren seiner Generation. Seine Bücher sind in über 50 Sprachen übersetzt, werden verfilmt, und von seinen Harry-Hole-Thrillern wurden allein im deutschsprachigen Raum über 5 Millionen Exemplare verkauft. »Macbeth« ist sein neuester Thriller, der u.a. in Skandinavien, Großbritannien und den USA auf der Bestsellerliste stand. Jo Nesbø lebt in Oslo.

André Mumot (Übersetzer): André Mumot ist promovierter Kulturwissenschaftler, Journalist, Autor und Literaturübersetzer. Seit 2008 übersetzt er Autoren wie Neil Gaiman, Raquel J. Palacio, Nick Harkaway und Aleksandar Hemon. Er lebt in Berlin.

Jo Nesbø
Macbeth
Blut wird mit Blut bezahlt.
Thriller
Internationaler Bestseller
Originaltitel: Macbeth
Originalverlag: Hogarth
Aus dem Englischen von André Mumot
Gebundenes Buch mit Schutzumschlag
624 Seiten
13,5 x 21,5 cm
ISBN: 978-3-328-60017-6
€ 24,00 [D]
Verlag: Penguin
Erscheinungstermin: 27. August 2018

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Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years.

Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life.

Although the novel is most often discussed in literary-historical terms―as a seminal example of romanticism or as a groundbreaking early work of science fiction―Mary Shelley was keenly aware of contemporary scientific developments and incorporated them into her story. In our era of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and climate engineering, this edition of Frankenstein will resonate forcefully for readers with a background or interest in science and engineering, and anyone intrigued by the fundamental questions of creativity and responsibility.

This edition of Frankenstein pairs the original 1818 version of the manuscript―meticulously line-edited and amended by Charles E. Robinson, one of the world’s preeminent authorities on the text―with annotations and essays by leading scholars exploring the social and ethical aspects of scientific creativity raised by this remarkable story.

The result is a unique and accessible edition of one of the most thought-provoking and influential novels ever written.

Essays by Elizabeth Bear, Cory Doctorow, Heather E. Douglas, Josephine Johnston, Kate MacCord, Jane Maienschein, Anne K. Mellor, Alfred Nordmann

Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds
by Mary Shelley (Author), David H. Guston (Editor), Ed Finn (Editor), Jason Scott Robert (Editor), & Charles E. Robinson (Introduction)
Paperback
320 pages
Publisher: The MIT Press;
Annotated edition
2017
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0262533286
ISBN-13: 978-0262533287

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Rachel Feder: Harvester of Hearts. Motherhood under the Sign of Frankenstein

In the period between 1815 and 1820, Mary Shelley wrote her most famous novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, as well as its companion piece, Mathilda, a tragic incest narrative that was confiscated by her father, William Godwin, and left unpublished until 1959. She also gave birth to four—and lost three—children.

In this hybrid text, Rachel Feder interprets Frankenstein and Mathilda within a series of provocative frameworks including Shelley’s experiences of motherhood and maternal loss, twentieth-century feminists’ interests in and attachments to Mary Shelley, and the critic’s own experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.

Harvester of Hearts explores how Mary Shelley’s exchanges with her children—in utero, in birth, in life, and in death—infuse her literary creations. Drawing on the archives of feminist scholarship, Feder theorizes “elective affinities,” a term she borrows from Goethe to interrogate how the personal attachments of literary critics shape our sense of literary history.

Feder blurs the distinctions between intellectual, bodily, literary, and personal history, reanimating the classical feminist discourse on Frankenstein by stepping into the frame.

The result—at once an experimental book of literary criticism, a performative foray into feminist praxis, and a deeply personal lyric essay—not only locates Mary Shelley’s monsters within the folds of maternal identity but also illuminates the connections between the literary and the quotidian.

Rachel Feder is an assistant professor of English and literary arts at the University of Denver. Her scholarly and creative work has appeared in a range of publications including ELH, Studies in Romanticism, and a poetry chapbook from dancing girl press.

Rachel Feder (Author)
Harvester of Hearts
Motherhood under the Sign of Frankenstein
Cloth Text – $99.95
ISBN 978-0-8101-3753-0
Paper Text – $34.95
ISBN 978-0-8101-3752-3
August 2018
Women’s Studies
Literary Criticism
152 pages
Northwestern University Press

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Tori Telfer: Lady Killers. Deadly Women Throughout History

Author Tori Telfer’s “Lady Killers,” a thrilling and entertaining compendium, investigates female serial killers and their crimes through the ages.

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are ones like Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, Kate Bender?

The narrative we’re comfortable with is the one where women are the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally, overwhelmingly male that in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared in a homicide conference, “There are no female serial killers.”

Lady Killers, based on the popular online series that appeared on Jezebel and The Hairpin, disputes that claim and offers fourteen gruesome examples as evidence.

Though largely forgotten by history, female serial killers such as Erzsébet Báthory, Nannie Doss, Mary Ann Cotton, and Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite for destruction.

Lady Killers
Deadly Women Throughout History
by Tori Telfer
2017
ISBN: 9780062433732
ISBN 10: 0062433733
Imprint: Harper Perennial
Pages: 352
List Price: 15.99 USD
TRUE CRIME – Murder- Serial Killers -History – Women
Illustrations by Dame Darcy

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Stephen King: The Outsider. A Novel

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy, Revival, and Doctor Sleep. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

The Outsider
A Novel
By Stephen King (Author)
Language: English
Genre Horror, Crime fiction
Published: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 576
ISBN-10: 1501180983
ISBN 978-1501180989
Price $18.90

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Edgar Allan Poe: The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe
The Cask of Amontillado

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

He had a weak point this Fortunato although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.
I said to him “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”
“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”
“Amontillado!”
“I have my doubts.”
“Amontillado!”
“And I must satisfy them.”
“Amontillado!”
“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me ”
“Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.”
“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.
“Come, let us go.”
“Whither?”
“To your vaults.”
“My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchresi”
“I have no engagement; come.”
“My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.”
“Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchresi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.”
Thus speaking, Fortunato possessed himself of my arm; and putting on a mask of black silk and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honour of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.
I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together upon the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors.
The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.

“The pipe,” he said.
“It is farther on,” said I; “but observe the white web-work which gleams from these cavern walls.”
He turned towards me, and looked into my eves with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.
“Nitre?” he asked, at length.
“Nitre,” I replied. “How long have you had that cough?”
“Ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh!”
My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.
“It is nothing,” he said, at last.
“Come,” I said, with decision, “we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchresi ”
“Enough,” he said; “the cough’s a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.”
“True true,” I replied; “and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.
Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.
“Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine.
He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled.
“I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.”
“And I to your long life.”
He again took my arm, and we proceeded.
“These vaults,” he said, “are extensive.”
“The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous family.”
“I forget your arms.”
“A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.”
“And the motto?”
“Nemo me impune lacessit.”
“Good!” he said.

The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc. We had passed through long walls of piled skeletons, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.
“The nitre!” I said; “see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough ”
“It is nothing,” he said; “let us go on. But first, another draught of the Medoc.” I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grave. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.  I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement a grotesque one.
“You do not comprehend?” he said.
“Not I,” I replied.
“Then you are not of the brotherhood.”
“How?”
“You are not of the masons.”
“Yes, yes,” I said; “yes, yes.”
“You? Impossible! A mason?”
“A mason,” I replied.
“A sign,” he said, “a sign.”
“It is this,” I answered, producing from beneath the
folds of my roquelaire a trowel.
“You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces.
“But let us proceed to the Amontillado.”
“Be it so,” I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak and again offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth side the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior crypt or recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.
It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavoured to pry into the depth of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see.

“Proceed,” I said; “herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchresi ”
“He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In niche, and finding an instant he had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered. A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess.
“Pass your hand,” I said, “over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed, it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return. No? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.”
“The Amontillado!” ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his astonishment.
“True,” I replied; “the Amontillado.”

As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche.
I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier. The wall was now nearly upon a level with my breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strength.

I did this, and the clamourer grew still. It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognizing as that of the noble Fortunato.

The voice said–
“Ha! ha! ha! he! he! he! a very good joke, indeed an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo he! he! he! over our wine he! he! he!”
“The Amontillado!” I said.
“He! he! he! he! he! he! yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone.”
“Yes,” I said, “let us be gone.”
“For the love of God, Montresor!”
“Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!”
But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply.
I grew impatient. I called aloud
“Fortunato!”
No answer. I called again
“Fortunato!”

No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.
In pace requiescat!

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)
The Cask of Amontillado
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