Prospero's Mirror

By A N Donaldson

Oxford, 1935

M. R. James, Britain’s maximum author of ghost tales, is summoned through the Warden of previous university to enquire the inscription on an historic stone replicate. yet he reveals himself drawn right into a darkish maze of secrets and techniques, together with one from his personal accountable earlier.

Oxford, 1665

At a time while confirmed orthodoxies are being challenged via the hot technology, Warden Woodward of outdated university has bought an identical reflect. He quickly suspects conspiracy and witchcraft in a urban besieged by means of plague.

Assailed by way of devastating visions, stuck among fears of an historic curse and the area Wars of the longer term, males from diverse centuries delve right into a forgotten secret and are pressured to confront their very own demons. yet is self-reflection the main harmful factor of all? And are there a few phrases which may kill?

“What is learn can't be unread...”

Stella Rimington stated: “Necromancy, witchcraft and ugly goings on one of the dreaming spires. This traditionally established, good researched and wonderfully written blood chiller can have you taking a look over your shoulder for anonymous horrors. watch out for the finishing, really when you be afflicted by undesirable dreams.”

Frances Cairncross stated: “Alasdair Donaldson has written a wonderfully spooky first novel, vividly combining the horrors of plague-ridden seventeenth century Oxford with mysterious goings on within the wintry urban within the interwar years. His creepy description of the abandoned cloister and turrets of ‘Old collage’ over Christmas is sure to make sure that no undergraduate remains in the back of in Oxford over the holidays.”

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No pondering, gents, please! ’ I stated, ‘I am a humble schoolman now. i will be able to not stay alongside of you younger college dollars. ’ ‘Or perhaps,’ acknowledged Simmons, guffawing, ‘it’s simply because we suspect there’s whatever in them. probably a few locations could be certainly be undesirable, and a few innocent-seeming items very risky: a doll’s residence, a mezzotint, even an outdated booklet. Your scholarly heroes pry, simply to want they hadn’t. For me your tales exhibit how skinny is our veneer of ‘reason’. at the back of the dependent Queen Anne façade, there continually lies the gothic mansion.

There has been a call of the way: earlier the homes at the sea-front, or alongside the sand on the backside of the seashore, which, the tide being now out, used to be quite extensive. Or in fact we'd maintain alongside the shingle among those tracks and feature a few view of either one of them; in simple terms that used to be heavy going. We selected the sand, for that used to be the loneliest, and anyone may perhaps come to hurt there with no being visible from the general public course. lengthy stated he observed Paxton a ways forward, operating and waving his stick, as though he desired to sign to those that have been on prior to him.

Placing jointly the words he had already performed, and filling in as a number of the gaps as attainable, i will be able to make out the next: ‘These phrases are as a reflect because the reflect on which they have been writ. They shall exhibit thee thy fears as thou shalt express thy fears to him. the area within which thou dwelleth is a shattered mirrored image of the [Heavens? ]. lifestyles and Extension are phantasm: they're naught however the shadows of a dream. All [Essence? ] is an coincidence of strength. [ILLEGIBLE] thou canst contact Darkness now not, nor canst thou contact Hatred, nor Time, nor soreness - but through most of these thou canst thyself be touched.

What’s your trouble? If you’re brooding about the landlord of the land, and treasure-trove, and all that, we will be able to definitely assist you via. Nobody’s going to make a fuss approximately technicalities in a case of this type. ’ most likely extra used to be acknowledged, yet all he did was once to place his face in his palms, and mutter: ‘I don’t understand how to place it again. ’ ultimately lengthy stated: ‘You’ll forgive me, i am hoping, if I look impertinent, yet are you relatively definite you’ve acquired it? ’ i used to be desirous to ask a lot an analogous query myself, for after all the tale did appear a lunatic’s dream whilst one suggestion over it.

He was once acknowledged to have amazing Powers of Logick and Mathematicks. He used to be a favorite among the saucy Undergraduate Fellows, who may take him to Tavernes and ask him to accomplish impressive Feats of reminiscence and Calculation, for which he completed a kind of repute among them, as having Powers of remember that have been not anything in need of staggering, or - I should still particularly say - unnatural. For it was once stated he can be proven 3 disorder’d units of gaming playing cards, and recount with no Mistake the compleat Order of them, within which they have been positioned betwixt each other, that's certainly a specific thing to be wonder’d at.

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