Stories to Read by Candlelight
Jean Lorrain, translated by Patricia Worth
30 Jun 2019
Stories to Read by Candlelight contains eight stories first published in the 1890s by the French author, Jean Lorrain, translated here into English by Patricia Worth. Jean draws the reader back in time to his provincial childhood when his grandmother’s seamstress would tell him stories that gave him goose bumps and made him jump under the covers. Here he recounts these same stories, or invents new half-lived half-dreamed stories born of objects found in an attic or an old house. The characters have a mythical quality, whether they be fantastical beings who long to be real, like the embroidered Princess Mandosiane, or real people like Madame Gorgibus, accused of being a wicked fairy. The stories fall between legends and fairy tales, a genre favoured by a few Decadent authors protesting against realism and regretting technological progress.