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Lore of Proserpine

Maurice Henry Hewlett

Book Overview: 

If a thing is not sensibly true it may be morally so. If it is not phenomenally true it may be so substantially. And it is possible that one may see substance in the idiom, so to speak, of the senses. That, I take it, is how the Greeks saw thunder-storms and other huge convulsions; that is how they saw meadow, grove and stream—in terms of their own fair humanity. They saw such natural phenomena as shadows of spiritual conflict or of spiritual calm, and within the appearance apprehended the truth. So it may be that I have done. Some such may be the explanation of all fairy experience. Let it be so. It is a fact, I believe, that there is nothing revealed in this book which will not bear a spiritual, and a moral, interpretation; and I venture to say of some of it that the moral implications involved are exceedingly momentous, and timely too. I need not refer to such matters any further. If they don't speak for themselves they will get no help from a preface

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_45" id="Page_45">[45] it was that I had not seen her come out. Her colouring was precisely that of her background. Her garment, smock or frock or vest as you will, was grey-green like the oak stems, her whites were those of the sky-gleams, her roses those of the sun's rays. The maze of her hair could hardly be told from the photosphere. I tested this simply and summarily. Shutting my eyes for a second, when I opened them she was gone. Shutting them again and opening, there she was, sunning herself, breathing deep and long, watching her own beauties as the light played with them. I tried this many times and it did not fail me. I could, with her assistance, bring her upon my retina or take her off it, as if I had worked a shutter across my eyes. But as I watched her so I got very excited. Her business was so mysterious, her pleasure in it so absorbing; she was visible and yet secret; I was visible, and yet she could be ignorant of it. I got the same throbbing sort o. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I found this book by chance, only knowing that it was about fairies and had been written in 1913, and therefore was relevant to some research I was doing. It is something of a curate's egg, containing the fascinating and the dull in one short, uncategorisable volume.

Hewlett claims that everythin...more