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Synopsis

Charles Nodier was one of the first populariser of the literary vampire story: Smarra, or the Demons of the Night(1821) is the most notable and horrific of his stories. Nodier also carried forward the French tradition of literary fairy tales, which he enriched with the fantastic extravagance of the romantics. The best of these half fairy and half fantasy tales is Trilby, or the imp of Argyll(1822), which is set in Scotland. "Nodier's contes are dense, rich, varied in their settings and imbued with supernaturalism. Trilby is set in the Western highlands of Scotland. It is a touching story, as well as being extremely imaginative, and the Scottish background is finely evoked. Smarra is an altogether more brutal story, extravagantly supernatural, with a stong sexual undercurrent." The Times Literary Supplement ' ... two short novels, finely translated by Judith Landry, from Nodier's prime, sleek and flowing and highly unsafe." John Clute

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