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The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903)

de Bram Stoker

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5522032,989 (3.43)31
A mysterious attack on Margaret Trelawney's father brings young lawyer Malcolm Ross into the Egyptologist's bizarre home, and the couple soon find they are battling ancient forces greater than they previously could have imagined. The Egyptian queen Tera has been awoken, and is coming to take what she believes to be hers - whatever the cost to the Trelawney family. Set in London and Cornwall, and written at a time when a fascination with the East pervaded Victorian England, The Jewel of Seven Starsreflected the perceived contrast between the Orient's savagery and moral degradation, and its exotic beauty and opulence. Edited with an introduction and notes by Kate Hebblethwaite… (mais)
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Good story re machinations of a mummy of an Egyptian female pharoah with astro travel powers, weak ending ( )
  stewartowen | Apr 1, 2021 |
A worthwhile, if anti-climactic read. Stoker slowly built up the tension to the moment of crisis, then let it fall flat on the final page. I do think there should be some reward for the diligent reader when the author has been at considerable pains to lay the scene for an earth-shattering revelation. I wonder if his Christian sentiment made him falter? Perhaps the idea of a bodily resurrection not based on his own religious belief struck him as blasphemous?

Anyway, the journey was interesting, even if the destination was a disappointing one.

Edit: Having just remembered that there were two published endings, I find my edition is the second, sanitised, finale. The summary I've just read of the original ending is darker, better, though possibly still unsatisfying. I'd give my edition 3/5 stars, and probably another half star for the original ending. ( )
1 vote Michael.Rimmer | Aug 12, 2018 |
Considered the bases for the classical Mummy myth, this short novella by Bram Stoker takes advantage of the Egypt-mania that swarmed the Western world in the later parts of the 1800s. Told from the view point of the young lawyer, Malcolm Ross, it concerns the collection of the rich but eccentric Abel Trelawny and his daughter, Margaret – and the mummy of an Egyptian Queen…..
This has all the proper themes of a Victorian Gothic story – the morally-pure virgin, the stalwart young man, the mad scientists, the doctor, the creepy house, the blood in the night, shadows and ghosts, and mysteries of the past coming to haunt the present.
Stoker gave much detail about Egypt, and it was clear he did his research before adding in his own fantastical elements. It also contains Stoker’s trademark foreboding imagery and gothic prose. It’s a fine tale for a dark and creepy night.
But, it’s also a bit slow at times, some of the action or events are never really explained, and the ending – well, my big issue is the ending. It’s ambiguous exactly what went wrong and why the Great Experiment ended in death. Perhaps is it my modern mind, but I would have preferred a bit more explanation ( )
2 vote empress8411 | Nov 9, 2017 |
Great story. The father of the classic Mummy tale. Given another ending shortly after publication due to PC and possibly ruffling feathers. This is a good yarn that keeps the pages turning. Stoker is heavily criticized for his non-Dracula stories as being to political and sterile. I don't see that as the case. ( )
  Joe73 | Sep 22, 2017 |
This horror novel by the author of Dracula lacks the literary quality of the more famous work, but Stoker nevertheless creates cumulatively an atmosphere of fear and tension in this story based around the apparent resurrection of the mummy of a 5,000 year old forgotten Egyptian queen. This was the precursor of the mummy horror films of the twentieth century. This 1903 version contains a downbeat ending that apparently Stoker had to change when he wanted to reissue it in 1912; the revised version contains a more upbeat very ending, though apart from this scene and a very brief epilogue, there were no other changes except an omitted self-contained philosophical chapter. It's well written and atmospheric, though my 1903 version contained numerous misprints, untypical of Delphi Classics usual ebook publications, which were not present in their 1912 version (the most hilarious misprint was a reference to Egyptian embalmers preserving a body in a "bath of matron", rather than the preserving fluid natron - I bet that gave matron a nasty shock!) ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Aug 28, 2017 |
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A mysterious attack on Margaret Trelawney's father brings young lawyer Malcolm Ross into the Egyptologist's bizarre home, and the couple soon find they are battling ancient forces greater than they previously could have imagined. The Egyptian queen Tera has been awoken, and is coming to take what she believes to be hers - whatever the cost to the Trelawney family. Set in London and Cornwall, and written at a time when a fascination with the East pervaded Victorian England, The Jewel of Seven Starsreflected the perceived contrast between the Orient's savagery and moral degradation, and its exotic beauty and opulence. Edited with an introduction and notes by Kate Hebblethwaite

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