Prospero's Mirror by A. N. Donaldson

By A. N. Donaldson

(Converted to epub from retail azw3 with Calibre.)

Oxford, 1935

M. R. James, Britain’s maximum author of ghost tales, is summoned by way of the Warden of outdated collage to enquire the inscription on an historic stone replicate. yet he unearths himself drawn right into a darkish maze of secrets and techniques, together with one from his personal in charge past.

Oxford, 1665

At a time whilst confirmed orthodoxies are being challenged by means of the hot technological know-how, Warden Woodward of previous university has bought an analogous replicate. He quickly suspects conspiracy and witchcraft in a urban besieged by means of plague.

Assailed via devastating visions, stuck among fears of an old curse and the area Wars of the long run, 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 grotesque goings on one of the dreaming spires. This traditionally established, good researched and fantastically written blood chiller can have you having a look over your shoulder for anonymous horrors. watch out for the finishing, fairly in the event 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 College’ over Christmas is bound to make sure that no undergraduate remains in the back of in Oxford over the holidays.”

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In the German area of Vogtland, godfathers would stick a fork or two knives in the door to the birthing room, or place a prayer book there before going to church. To prevent the eruption of the Pesadilla,* the Basques set a plate of lentils in front of the entrance of the house.

All of these rites are the expression of an extremely ancient and simple mental attitude. indd 31 6/6/13 8:53 AM 32╇ ❖╇ The House and Its Grounds the house one is leaving into the new home. Many different peoples share the custom of carrying cinders or live embers, symbols of the hearth in every sense of the word, inasmuch as domestic life was totally organized around it. It was commonly said that a person should go back into his former house before seven years have passed, unless something was left behind, even if it was just a nail in the wall.

Various liquids can be sprinkled in them, or this or that item will be placed in them. 10 During the nineteenth century in the Russian region of Kostroma, the head of a rooster would be cut off on the threshold of the drying house or the bath house and its blood would be spread in the corners in order to disperse any malevolent forces they might be sheltering. 11 We should note that these rites can be divided into two types of measures: some are apotropaic (defensive), while the others have a sacrificial value.

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