This beguilingly strange and poetic novel offers a twenty-first century reimagining of the vampire myth, wrapped up in a poignant story of love and jealousy.
Michael and Laura Sheridan are newly-wed New Englanders on honeymoon in Ireland, the land of his ancestors. More than that, the house they've taken sits on the edge of the idyllic village of Abington, County Limerick - the name also of the town where she grew up in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
Everything about the trip is just perfect. The house is wonderful, the people warm and friendly, and soon enough they find friends in another honeymooning couple from Holland. With them they explore the area, learning the myth of a nearby ruined hamlet - a story of beauty lost and tragedy found.
Then echoes of that ancient tale start to wash into Laura's present. And with them, links to a book by one of Abington's most famous sons - Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. And then connections also to a pair of paintings by Le Fanu's contemporary, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Lyrical and enchanting, then darkly-gothic and disturbing, For The Want Of Beauty slowly mixes the nineteenth century with the twenty-first, romance with philosophy, innocence with the supernatural, love with jealousy, the spiritual with the erotic, hope with fear.
At the end of the book a full Notes section explains the various artistic, literary and historical references around which the story is told.
About the author. Christopher Thomason is an historian of philosophy, culture and ideas. He was educated at Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School and University College London.
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