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A Long Fatal Love Chase de Louisa May Alcott
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A Long Fatal Love Chase (1995 original; edició 1995)

de Louisa May Alcott (Autor), Kent Bicknell (Editor)

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1,593299,413 (3.51)70
I'd gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom, cries impetuous Rosamond Vivian to her callous grandfather. Then, one stormy night, a brooding stranger appears in her remote island home, ready to take Rosamond to her word. Spellbound by the mysterious Philip Tempest, Rosamond is seduced with promises of love and freedom, then spirited away on Tempest's sumptuous yacht. But she soon finds herself trapped in a web of intrigue, cruelty, and deceit. Desperate to escape, she flees to Italy, France, and Germany, from Parisian garret to mental asylum, from convent to chateau, as Tempest stalks every step of the fiery beauty who has become his obsession. A story of dark love and passionate obsession that was considered too sensational to be published in the authors lifetime, A Long Fatal Love Chase was written for magazine serialization in 1866, two years before the publication of Little Women. Buried among Louisa May Alcott's papers for more than a century, its publication is a literary landmark--a novel that is bold, timeless, and mesmerizing. From the Paperback edition.… (més)
Membre:jenjohnson1227
Títol:A Long Fatal Love Chase
Autors:Louisa May Alcott (Autor)
Altres autors:Kent Bicknell (Editor)
Informació:Random House (1995), Edition: 1st, 376 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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A Long Fatal Love Chase de Louisa May Alcott (1995)

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    The Devil and Daniel Webster {story} de Stephen Vincent Benét (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Both works deal with making a deal with the devil/selling your soul. Alcott's work has more romance than Benet's work.
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Remember those "sensation" stories Jo March writes in Little Women? In chapter 27, "Literary Lessons," Jo decides to enter a competition in

"that class of light literature in which the passions have a holiday, and when the author's invention fails, a grand catastrophe clears the state of one-half the dramatis persona, leaving the other half to exult over their downfall....Her theatrical experience and miscellaneous reading were of service now, for they gave her some idea of dramatic effect, and supplied plot, language, and costumes. Her story was as full of desperation and despair as her limited acquaintance with those uncomfortable emotions enabled her to make it..."

Jo wins the competition (and $100), and keeps writing such thrillers to pay the family bills. In chapter 34, "A Friend," Jo continues:

"writing sensation stories - for in those dark days, even all-perfect America read rubbish....Like most young scribblers, she went abroad for her characters and scenery...as thrills could not be produced except by harrowing up the souls of the readers, history and romance, land and sea, science and art, police records and lunatic asylums, had to be ransacked for the purpose....she searched newspapers for accidents, incidents, and crimes; she excited the suspicions of public librarians by asking for works on poisons; she studied faces in the street, - and characters good, bad, and indifferent, all about her; she delved in the dust of ancient times, for facts or fictions so old that they were as good as new, and introduced herself to folly, sin, and misery, as well as her limited opportunities allowed."

A Long Fatal Love Chase is the serialized "blood and thunder" story Jo March might have written. Even more interesting, though, is the story behind the story. After returning from a trip to Europe in 1866, where she served as a paid companion to an invalid, Louisa May Alcott sold her novella Behind the Mask (or, A Woman's Power) to editor James Elliott for the Boston weekly The Flag of Our Union for $75 in August. (It appeared in four installments in October and November of that year). Incorporating settings from her trip, in September, Alcott's journal indicates she "finished the long tale A Modern Mephistopheles. But Elliott would not have it, saying it was too long & too sensational! So I put it away & fell to work on other things."

After Alcott's death in 1888, the manuscript wound up in a Harvard library archive, where it was described as "A modern Mephistopheles, or The fatal love chase. ... A completely different novel from that published as A modern Mephistopheles in the No Name series, 1877. This novel apparently unpublished. ... NOTE: This item returned to family, 1991."

According to a September 1995 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Alcott's grandnephews put the manuscript on the market to raise money for the Louisa May Alcott Foundation, which operates Orchard House, the Alcott home in Concord, Masssachusetts, where she wrote Little Women. It languished unsold for a few years until a New Hampshire private school principal named Kent Bicknell purchased it (with the help of a financial backer) in 1994. He restored the much-revised text to the original (as submitted in 1866), and the profits from its subsequent publication were shared with Alcott's heirs, Orchard House, and Bicknell's school respectively.

Elliott had requested a novel of 24 chapters, with every other chapter ending with a bit of a cliffhanger, for serialization purposes. That is what Alcott has written here. The title and the cover blurb kind of give the plot away, but it's an easy and fun (and rather dark Gothic) read nonetheless.

© Amanda Pape - 2014

[This paperback was purchased at a Friends of the Library book sale and will likely remain in my personal collection.] ( )
1 vota riofriotex | Jul 25, 2022 |
I am reading books on a thematic basis. For the upcoming Valentine's Day I just completed this book of obsessive love. A little melodramatic... but deceit and manipulation destroy a relationship, but the two cannot make a permanent break. Rosamond harbors some sentimental feelings for Philip Tempest, and he cannot overcome his obsessive love. The story takes some interesting and unexpected turns. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
"I'd gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom," cries impetuous Rosamond Vivian to her callous grandfather. Then, one stormy night, a brooding stranger appears in her remote island home, ready to take Rosamond to her word. Spellbound by the mysterious Philip Tempest, Rosamond is seduced with promises of love and freedom, then spirited away on Tempest's sumptuous yacht. But she soon finds herself trapped in a web of intrigue, cruelty, and deceit. Desperate to escape, she flees to Italy, France, and Germany, from Parisian garret to mental asylum, from convent to chateau, as Tempest stalks every step of the fiery beauty who has become his obsession.

A story of dark love and passionate obsession that was considered "too sensational" to be published in the authors lifetime, A Long Fatal Love Chase was written for magazine serialization in 1866, two years before the publication of Little Women. Buried among Louisa May Alcott's papers for more than a century, its publication is a literary landmark—a novel that is bold, timeless, and mesmerizing."
  Gmomaj | Dec 8, 2019 |
A friend loaned me this book. I've read a few other Louisa May Alcott's books but none were like this one. I agree with my friend that the end of the book was better than the beginning.

First of all, it's never a good idea to sell your soul or make a deal with the devil. And I agree with my friend that there were signs in Tempest that Rosamond should have heeded as well as her not knowing him well enough to go off with him even if she was "bored" at her grandfather's.

I did like Ignatius's love of Rosamond. Though he was tempted to betray his priestly vows, he did not. He did love her in the way he could while keeping his vows--by being her friend, by spending time with her, by being truthful and true, by supporting her.

I was glad to see Lito and his mother reunited but also that Lito could still show grace to his father.

There's a bit of irony in the way Rosamond dies--that Tempest's pursuit of her is what causes her death but not in the way a reader would think. Ignatius leads us to believe that Rosamond was a believer and will go to heaven. I'm not as certain of that as he seems to be since I saw few instances of Christian beliefs in Rosamond. Yes, she did step away from Tempest once she knew their marriage was a sham, but that could have been out of propriety or for some other reason than Christian beliefs. She also hid out for a while as a nun, but she never took vows and I didn't get the sense that she believed in God--she almost seemed to believe more in Ignatius than in God (to me,anyway).

Though at least in death, she is past the influence of Tempest. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 11, 2019 |
This may have been the type of book that Jo, in "Little Women" may have wanted to write until they told her to write what you know. Miss Alcott, though having toured the continent, probably had no experience of tragic love as the heroine in this story. She also seemed to skip around on the point of view too much. She was way ahead of her time, and fortunately, someone decided to give it a try in the 1990's, and it may have even been more appropriate in this decade. I would have not read it if it hadn't been by an author I love. ( )
  eliorajoy | Feb 17, 2018 |
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I'd gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom, cries impetuous Rosamond Vivian to her callous grandfather. Then, one stormy night, a brooding stranger appears in her remote island home, ready to take Rosamond to her word. Spellbound by the mysterious Philip Tempest, Rosamond is seduced with promises of love and freedom, then spirited away on Tempest's sumptuous yacht. But she soon finds herself trapped in a web of intrigue, cruelty, and deceit. Desperate to escape, she flees to Italy, France, and Germany, from Parisian garret to mental asylum, from convent to chateau, as Tempest stalks every step of the fiery beauty who has become his obsession. A story of dark love and passionate obsession that was considered too sensational to be published in the authors lifetime, A Long Fatal Love Chase was written for magazine serialization in 1866, two years before the publication of Little Women. Buried among Louisa May Alcott's papers for more than a century, its publication is a literary landmark--a novel that is bold, timeless, and mesmerizing. From the Paperback edition.

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