PLOTS AND COUNTERPLOTS: More Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott by Louisa May Alcott

PLOTS AND COUNTERPLOTS: More Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott

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You may hate yourself in the morning after a night of surrender to these tasseled tales of fantastic romance by the creator of those nice March girls. Two long and three brief stories echo the conventional flourishes of the popular weeklies in which they first appeared: opulent posturings (""Calm and cold as a man of marble [he] looked down upon her so beautiful in her abasement""); dark ruins and darker secrets, storms and voices in the dark. All these devices are of course exploited in modern Gothics. Also in evidence is a liberal use of opium and hashish, both as a medicine and a pleasurable device causing eyes to flash and hair to float. A cool Galatea, virgin bride of a sculptor, becomes an opium addict, a realization which precedes the uncovering of her parentage and the sculptor's release to love. Another tale offers a quicksilver female villain who causes two deaths, leaves a trail of mystery and misery, but exits with style. Accused of being one who found it ""impossible to love,"" she murmurs, in ripe Sydney Carton rhythms: ""Ah, if it were impossible this hour would be less terrible, the future less dark."" Other entries deal with heroines held captive and dank family scandals. Madeleine Stern again supplies a helpful introduction to this second collection of Louisa's penny dreadfuls--still leagues out in front of most of today's $8.95 plumb awfuls.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1976
Publisher: Morrow