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10 Works of Vernon Lee

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AS EXPLAINED BY A PIOUS FLORENTINE GOSSIP OF HIS DAY. “Now, I cannot affirm that things did really take place in this manner, but it greatly pleases me to think that they did.”–FRA DOMENICO CAVALCA: Life of the Magdalen. The silly folks do not at all understand about the birth of our Lord. They say […]

I am calling this paper after a hotel sitting-room because some of one’s most recurrent and definite trains of thought are most hopelessly obstinate about getting an intelligible name, so that I take advantage of this one having been brought to a head in a real room of the kind. The room was on a […]

I have had the sense that now, before these foregoing pages be definitely printed–before what have been living thoughts and feelings be irrevocably composed and stiffened, embalmed, distinctly and unmistakably prepared to last, as things are permitted to last, only in death–I have had the sense that while yet I can, I must say one […]

God sent a poet to reform His earth.–A. MARY F. ROBINSON. “And meanwhile, what have you written?” asked Baldwin, tickling the flies with his whip from off the horse’s head, as they slowly ascended, in the autumn afternoon, the hill of Montetramito, which with its ilex and myrtle-grown black rocks, and its crumbling mounds, where […]

I give a place to the following pages, because, for all the difference of form, this essay is of the same sort, has had the same kind of origin, as the so seemingly incongruous studies with which it is bound up. For this also is the rough putting together of notes made at various times […]

… grande, austera, verde,Da le montagne digradanti in cerchio,L’Umbria guarda.–CARDUCCI. The autumn sun is declining over the fields and oak-woods and vineyards of Umbria, where–in the wide undulating valley, inclosed by high rounded hills, bleak or dark with ilex, each with its strange terraced white city, Assisi, Spello, Spoleto, Todi–the Tiber winds lazily along, pale […]

It is a strange and beautiful fact that whatsoever is touched by genius, no matter how humble in itself, becomes precious and immortal. This wrinkled old woman is merely one of thousands like herself, who have sat and will sit by the great porcelain stove of the Dutch backshop, their knitting or their bible on […]

A STUDY OF MUSICAL ROMANTICISTS. There is nothing stranger in the world than music: it exists only as sound, is born of silence and dies away into silence, issuing from nothing and relapsing into nothing; it is our own creation, yet it is foreign to ourselves; we draw it from out of the silent wood […]

NOTES ON THE SUPERNATURAL IN ART. There is a story, well-known throughout the sixteenth century, which tells how Doctor Faustus of Wittemberg, having made over his soul to the fiend, employed him to raise the ghost of Helen of Sparta, in order that she might become his paramour. The story has no historic value, no […]

There were a lot of children in the Vatican this morning: small barbarians scarce out of the nursery, who should have been at home, at their lessons, or reading fairy books, or carpentering, or doll-educating, or boat-sailing, or amusing themselves in the hundred nondescript ways which we seem to forget (remembering only ready-made toys and […]