The Secret Story of an Irish Countess

The Secret Story of an Irish Countess
The Secret Story of an Irish Countess
The Secret Story of an Irish Countess

The Secret Story of an Irish Countess

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Translator: Valentina Pesci

The Secret Story of an Irish Countess is a tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu belonging to the Purcell Papers (1880), a collection of supernatural and horror legends drawn from Irish tradition. This tale, in particular, will lay the foundations from which Le Fanu will draw inspiration for the famous gothic novel Uncle Silas . It is interesting to note that the text is part of that detective sub-genre known as the "enigma of the closed room", in which the investigation takes place around a crime committed in seemingly impossible circumstances - such as that discovered in a closed chamber from the inside - and how be it a very early example of this particular narrative form. Although it has all the credentials to be indicated as a first experiment of the kind, it is also important to note the author's success in highlighting the side of psychological horror that is revealed with the unfolding of the plot.

Lady Margaret is the sole heir to the immense fortune of a noble. On the death of her father, having not yet reached the age of majority, she goes to live with his brother and her family, whom she has never known. Her uncle, Sir Arthur, lives in an old mansion in voluntary isolation, following gossip and accusations brought against him due to a mysterious suicide that took place within the walls of his castle. When Margaret arrives at Carrickleigh's mansion, the warm welcome from her cousin Emily to her and the seemingly affectionate one from her uncle comfort her about her, making her feel welcome. The only one who makes her uncomfortable with her is her cousin Edward, for whom she feels contempt from the beginning: in fact the man, in league with her father, wants to force her into a marriage that bring her inheritance into possession of her. The girl does not intend to comply with their wishes, but this rebellion of her will prove dangerous ...

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