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Ziska

Marie Corelli

Book Overview: 

The story revolves around the mysterious Princess Ziska, who captivates a set of European tourists who are spending time in exotic Egypt. The story is a mystery involving reincarnation, romance & a touch of mild horror.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .There is a nice romantic glen near your house—just where the river runs, and where I caught a fifteen-pound salmon some five years ago. Ha! Catching salmon is healthy work; much better than falling in love. No, no, Helen! Gervase is not good enough for you; you want a far better man. Has he spoken to you to-night?"

"Oh, yes! And he has danced with me."

"Ha! How often?"

"Once."

"And how many times with the Princess Ziska?"

Helen's fair head drooped, and she answered nothing. All at once the little Doctor's hand closed on her arm with a soft yet firm grip.

"Look!" he whispered.

She raised her eyes and saw two figures step out on the terrace and stand in the full moonlight,—the white Bedouin dress of the one and the glittering golden robe of the other made them easily recognizable,—they were Gervase and. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Of supernatural love, thrills, exotic dancing... of a London society specific to defined gender roles, thoughts on beliefs in higher beings, bent on specified human purpose... of a man with two daughters in need of husbands, a Dr. Dean in love with history and spiritualism, a Mr. Murray in love w...more

I read this book as part of a literary criticism class on Gothic monsters. As it stands in that setting, this book has a lot to offer. The author, Marie Corelli, is a bit of an anomaly compared to the stereotype of Victorian horror writers. She was very successful, rich, and famous during her lif...more

I first heard of Marie Corelli a couple of days ago while reading Dancers at the End of time. The prim Victorian Christian "didn't care for her novels". So when I found a copy of Ziska in the oxfam in Crouch end I was intrigued to learn more. It said it was a supernatural tale set among the idle...more

Corelli employs satire at the beginning of the novel to remark on false sense of superiority of the English at the end of the 19th century. Much of this can be linked to the themes that have been discussed throughout the course such as anxiety over racial, gender, social and economic principles t...more

Marie Corelli (the nom de plume of Mary Mackay) writes a strangely fun and funny story about vengeance, passion, morality, and life after death. It's strange, because the story really shouldn't work, but it does.

The opening rundown of the British tourists swarming through Egypt is spot-on, skewer...more

This was oddly fun. I laughed quite a bit at the beginning, especially when Dr. DEAN was comparing Ziska's eyes to a bat's. Purple prose galore.

This should have been edited down to a short story. You could read the first two chapters for the commentary on English travelers. A chapter in the middle for the gist of the plot. And the last two chapters for all the action. I literally fell asleep three times. My advice: Skim. Skim. Skim.

Marie Corelli was a highly popular writer of sensational novels in the Victorian era. She combined high melodrama with an attempt to reconcile Christianity with reincarnation, astral project and other spiritual aspects not generally associated with Christianity. With Ziska, Corelli uses the mediu...more

Vengeance at its best. loved it.

A pretty basic revenge story, not very original, it's the kinda of story thats been told alot so it seemed pretty familiar when i was reading it. It's pretty obvious that books like The Picture Of Dorian Gray and especially Haggard's She had an influence on this book. Despite lacking suspense (ba...more

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