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Old 07-25-2016, 04:33 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Paine, Albert Bigelow: Strange Tales. v1. 25 Jul 2016

Strange Tales by Albert Bigelow Paine (1861–1937)

This book is in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.


Albert Bigelow Paine was an American author and biographer best known for his work with Mark Twain. He wrote in several genres, including fiction, humor, and verse, for children and adults. His most notable work was a three-volume biography of Mark Twain.

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This is my own compilation.

In 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson wrote what is perhaps the definitive fictional story about split personalities, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 1894 saw publication of Paine’s treatment of the theme in the novella The Mystery of Evelin Delorme. A talented young artist is fascinated and beguiled by two beautiful young women, one spiritually pure and gentle, the other a seductive woman of the world.

“The Black Hands” concerns a white man who, through treatment of injury from a train wreck, becomes “as black a negro who walks the earth to-day!” A statement about race in the age of Jim Crow.

In “The Elixir of Youth”, an aging man’s wish to “live life over” raises intriguing questions.

In the oddly humorous but eerie “The Evening Spirit,” two friends are haunted by a ghostly newspaper.

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The Mystery of Evelin Delorme was first published in 1894. “The Black Hands” first appeared in Pearson’s Magazine Aug. 1903; “The Elixir of Youth” in The Century Magazine May 1913; “The Evening Spirit” in The Black Cat magazine Feb. 1898. Text for The Mystery of Evelin Delorme was obtained from gutenberg.org; text for the short stories from hathitrust.org magazine archives.

OCR and transcription errors were corrected; punctuation, italics and diacritics formatted; story titles cross-linked to Table of Contents.

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We need a genre prefix for Weird Fiction, or Paranormal Fiction! Fantasy doesn't quite cover these, nor horror.
Evelin Delorme may seem a bit creaky in the knees, since the subject has been covered many times in the last century, and the “science” in The Black Hands is ludicrously incorrect, but these stories are all interesting in their own way, and all make for a fast read.
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