“Marsyas in Flanders” by Vernon Lee

“Vernon Lee” was the pseudonym of Violet Paget (1856-1935), a prolific author who was also a feminist and a pacifist. Paget’s supernatural fiction has been compared to that of M. R. James by Montague Summers, while scholar and critic Everett Bleiler noted that her stories “are really in a category by themselves…they deserve more than the passing attention that they have attracted.”

“Marsyas in Flanders” was written in 1900, and has been anthologized many times since. As you can see from the PDF below, we had already done a first pass on annotating this story, which means we fully intended to use it…right up until the final decisions. Although we ended up (regretfully!) not using it in Weird Women, we are still happy to share it with readers here.

Lee

“Good Lady Ducayne” by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Here’s one that really hurt…we really loved this story by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915), a popular British novelist who wrote more than 80 novels and a number of supernatural short pieces. “Good Lady Ducayne” is one of the most unique vampire stories of the Victorian era, and is also a beautifully-observed look at the place that both impoverished young women and wealthy older matrons occupied in the socioeconomic strata of the time.

In the final decision-making, though, the story’s length was our chief concern. Given its originality and superb craftsmanship, we hated to lose it, but are pleased to be able to share it here. Enjoy!

Braddon