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Archibald Malmaison   By: (1846-1934)

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Archibald Malmaison by Julian Hawthorne is a riveting novel that blends elements of mystery, romance, and psychological introspection. The story follows the life of the enigmatic protagonist, Archibald Malmaison, as he navigates his cursed existence and battles his inner demons.

Set in 19th-century New England, the atmosphere of the book is incredibly atmospheric. The author's vivid descriptions of the surroundings immerse the reader in a dark and eerie world. The intricate details of the Gothic mansion, where much of the plot unfolds, create a palpable sense of foreboding that contributes to the overall tension of the narrative.

Hawthorne's writing style is eloquent and richly descriptive, drawing the reader into the complex psyche of Archibald Malmaison. The character development is exceptional, with the protagonist evolving from a brash and arrogant young man into a tormented and haunted figure haunted by his family's mysterious past. The author explores themes of guilt, fate, and identity, making the reader ponder the nature of evil and the consequences of one's actions.

The plot is filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader engaged and eager to unravel the mysteries surrounding Archibald Malmaison's lineage. The author expertly weaves together past and present, gradually revealing the dark secrets that have plagued Malmaison's family for generations. The pacing is well-balanced, with moments of suspense interspersed with moments of introspective reflection.

Moreover, Hawthorne brings depth to the story by delving into societal issues of the time, such as class divisions and the role of women. The female characters in the novel are portrayed as strong and independent, challenging the norms of their time and adding further complexity to the narrative.

While Archibald Malmaison is an engaging and thought-provoking novel, it can be quite dense at times, requiring the reader's full attention to fully appreciate the intricacies of the narrative. Some readers may find the philosophical musings and introspective passages to be overly dense, potentially slowing down the pace of the story.

In conclusion, Archibald Malmaison is an intellectually stimulating read that combines elements of mystery, romance, and psychological exploration. Julian Hawthorne's writing style, character development, and intricate plot make it a worthwhile read for fans of Gothic literature and those seeking a captivating tale that challenges the boundaries of morality and explores the depths of the human psyche.

First Page:

Archibald Malmaison

by Julian Hawthorne

Author of "Garth," "Sebastian Strome," "Dust," Etc.


When I was a child, I used to hope my fairy stories were true. Since reaching years of discretion, I have preferred acknowledged fiction. This inconsistency, however, is probably rather apparent than real. Experience has taught me that the greater the fairy story the less the truth; and contrariwise, that the greater the truth the less the fairy story. In other words, the artistic graces of romance are irreconcilable with the crude straightforwardness of fact. The idealism of childhood, believing that all that is most beautiful must on that very account be most true, clamors accordingly for truth. The knowledge of maturity, which has discovered that nothing that is true (in the sense of being existent) can be beautiful, deprecates truth beyond everything. What happens, we find, is never what ought to happen; nor does it happen in the right way or season. In palliation of this hardship, the sublime irony of fate grants us our imagination, wherewith we create little pet worlds of poetry and romance, in which everything is arranged in neat harmonies and surprises, to gratify the scope of our little vision. The actual world, the real universe, may, indeed, be picturesque and perfect beyond the grandest of our imaginative miniatures; but since the former can be revealed to us only in comparatively infinitesimal portions, the miniatures still have the best of it... Continue reading book >>

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