Oct 18

Dark Shadows ... fake out!

Bellatrix Comments: Crepe Paper Wife

You might remember this from here, and here.

Published 1968

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 3.43 out of 10)

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12 Responses to “Conjure Wife”

  1. Tat Wood Says:

    “I’d sell my soul to be able to draw feet”

    But this edition pre-dates the yank soap ‘Dark Shadows’. And the Badedas adverts. And Stevie Nicks’s whole career.

  2. Francis Boyle Says:

    Apart from the fact that our damsel appears to have wandered in from an Audrey Hepburn knockoff movie I can’t see much wrong with this. At least we’re spared the giant green pussy.

  3. Tor Mented Says:

    Does her husband get conjural visits?

  4. fred Says:

    Amazing wind to affect only her hair.

  5. Leak Says:

    “Conjure wife!”
    “The spell fizzles and conjures stepmother instead!”

  6. Bibliomancer Says:

    Putzer Prize for Literature!

  7. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Another bad cover for a good book. And it’s not really that terrifying, unless you’re a firm believer in the patriarchy and afraid of girls.

    Who TF was Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, and who TF cared about her award at any time? Nowadays we’d be more likely to have “Retro Hugo Finalist” in the shuriken. And hopefully no pink-on-yellow.

    @fred: I dunno, Wife looks so flimsy that she’s leaning into the wind to keep from falling over, as her body’s curved between neck and putative feet.

  8. Bruce A Munro Says:

    A bit late to the party, but it’s as Francis Boyle says: the cover isn’t particularly bad, if not exactly representative of the contents. Trapped _her_ in a web of witchcraft? No, it’s more _he_ who’s stumbled into a web of witchcraft – his wife being a witch herself. Patriarchal framing, as usual!

    @GSS ex-noob: I somehow picture (no doubt showing my own patriarchal biases) Mrs. Radcliffe as the absolute overlord of some small town book club, all very Daughters of the American Revolution with tea and cake.

  9. Tat Wood Says:

    @ex-noob, Bruce: Mrs Radcliffe pretty much invented gothic horror. It didn’t start in 1980s Leeds. ‘Mysteries of Udolpho’ made her the highest-paid writer of the 1790s, which is why men jumped on the bandwagon.

    You may as well ask who TF is Stephen King.

  10. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Gothic horror: NOT my thing, except maybe with eldritch abominations thrown in. I have heard of “Mysteries of Udolpho”, though.

    Comparing King with someone who had been dead for two centuries seems odd, but I will admit that if you use the Ngram reader Mrs. Radcliffe seems to keep ticking along with fairly decent numbers, if only about a fifth of King’s numbers since the late 80s

  11. JJYoyo Says:

    @GSSxN: Jane Austen in her youth was an avid reader of Gothic novels, especially Radcliffe’s *The Mysteries of Udolpho* — so much so that she alludes to that novel many times in her own first published novel, *Northanger Abbey,* which parodizes the genre.

  12. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Ah! I know of “Mysteries of Udolpho”, might have even read it. Didn’t recall her name, though, and never heard of the award. Couldn’t even find any details with a quick Google. Still disapprove of the pink on yellow, but blame the publisher.

    I have now Wiki’d her and found out her childhood bestie was Charles Darwin’s mum. Quite an interesting milieu. Good Show for her for trying to elevate the tone of the Gothic style. Also for making more money than her husband and both of them traveling extensively on that sum, with no children to keep them in England being stuffy. A woman ahead of her time.

    @Bruce: What caused the bumps for Stephen King around 1940 and 1960? Can’t be the guy we’re all thinking of, but then both his first and last name are common enough.

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