Translated by Brian Stableford.
Jane de la Vaudère was one of the most unusual writers of the fin de siècle, renowned both for her scandalously scabrous Parisian novels, and her accounts of moeurs antiques, some of which — notably Le Mystère de Kama (1901) — set new standards of excess.
Presented here is her first volume of short stories to be available in English, superbly translated by Brian Stableford: nine extravagant tales of hypnotism and magic, reincarnation and vengeance, animal tamers and necrophilia. Sublimely Gothic, exquisitely hallucinatory, these strange, fatalistic pieces by La Vaudère are surely a landmark in the annals of the fantastic.
Jane de La Vaudère was baptized Jeanne Scrive and was married to Camille Gaston Crapez, who began styling himself Crapez de La Vaudère after inheriting the Château de La Vaudère from his mother. Her prolific literary work is very various but she was assimilated to the Decadent Movement firstly because of two scandalously scabrous Parisian novels, Les Demi-Sexes (1897) and Les Andrognyes (1903), and, more pertinently, because of a series of accounts of moeurs antiques, some of which - notably Le Mystère de Kama (1901) - set new standards of excess in their exotic eroticism and fascination with torture.