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The Tinted Venus

F. Anstey

Book Overview: 

When a young newly engaged man finds himself bound for an amusement garden with an old flame, not his fiancee, it is not surprising that he still feels some attraction for her. When they escape the heat of the dance floor to walk among the trees in the garden, it is not surprising that they should come upon a statue of a woman of uncommon beauty, with the smallest hands. When the young man attempts to demonstrate that his absent fiancee has hands even smaller than this immortalized stone woman, it is surprising when the engagement ring he is carrying fits easily on the stone finger, but does not easily come off. There are many surprises to come with with this sculpted woman and the all too lively young lady from his past.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But Leander was content to leave the matter unexplained.

"Let it suffice you," she said, "that I am here; and once more, Leander, are you prepared to fulfil the troth you have plighted?"

"I—I can't say I am," he said. "Not that I don't feel thankful for having had the refusal of so very 'igh-class an opportunity; but, as I'm situated at present—what with the state of trade, and unbelief so rampant, and all—I'm obliged to decline with respectful thanks."

He trusted that after this she would see the propriety of going.

"Have a care!" she said; "you are young and not uncomely, and my heart pities you. Do nothing rash. Pause, ere you rouse the implacable ire of Aphrodite!"

"Thank you," said Leander; "if you'll allow me, I will. I don't want any ill-feeling, I'm sure. It's my wish to live peaceable with all men."

"I leave you, then. Use the time before you till I come again in thinking well whether he act. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I stumbled upon this late 19th century British writer via an article in either the NY Times or the Wash Post recommending the under-read author. I decided on reading it to introduce me to Anstey because it also inspired the musical One Touch of Venus, with music by Kurt Weill. I'm a theatrical fe...more

A bit of a come down after "Vice versa" but still a pleasant vintage comic fantasy. Complications arise when a statue of Venus comes to life and pursues a young, recently engaged hairdresser.