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The Substance of a Dream   By: (1863-1940)

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The Substance of a Dream by F. W. Bain is a remarkable piece of literature that captivates the reader from the very beginning. Set in the backdrop of 19th century England, this novel intertwines elements of romance, mystery, and supernatural occurrences, offering a truly unique reading experience.

The protagonist, Robert Cremer, is a struggling artist who encounters a mesmerizing woman named Sophia while wandering the streets of London one evening. It is through this chance encounter that Robert's world is forever changed, as he becomes enraptured by Sophia's beauty and an unexplainable connection between them is forged. The ensuing narrative explores their blossoming relationship, brimming with intense emotions and a profound sense of destiny.

Bain's writing style is elegant, taking readers on a journey through time and space. The vivid descriptions allow the reader to visualize each scene with meticulous detail, immersing them in the story's rich tapestry. Moreover, the author masterfully crafts an atmosphere of enchantment, blurring the lines between reality and the supernatural. The ethereal nature of the plot keeps readers engaged, constantly questioning what is real and what is merely a figment of the characters' imagination.

What truly sets The Substance of a Dream apart is Bain's ability to delve into the depths of human emotions. The characters are flawed, relatable, and intricately developed, making their struggles and desires palpable. Robert's inner turmoil as he grapples with his artistic ambitions and the obstacles he encounters along the way is portrayed with remarkable authenticity, resonating with readers on a profound level. Sophia, on the other hand, exudes an air of mystery, leaving readers questioning her true nature and intentions.

The novel's exploration of love and fate is also commendable. Bain skillfully delves into the complexities of these themes, igniting a thought-provoking discussion on the role of destiny in shaping our lives and the sacrifices we make for love. The ensuing journey is both heart-wrenching and compelling, leaving readers emotionally invested until the very last page.

If there is one criticism to be made, it is that at times, the narrative could benefit from a slightly quicker pace. There are moments where the story lingers, and while these instances lend depth and introspection, they may cause some readers to lose momentum. However, this minor critique does not detract significantly from the overall impact and brilliance of Bain's storytelling.

In conclusion, F. W. Bain's The Substance of a Dream is a mesmerizing tale that seamlessly weaves romance, mystery, and the supernatural into a beautifully crafted narrative. With its well-developed characters, evocative prose, and exploration of profound themes, this book is a must-read for lovers of literary fiction. Bain's ability to transport readers to another time and place is nothing short of extraordinary, leaving a lasting impression on all who dare to embark on this extraordinary literary journey.

First Page:


Translated from the Original Manuscript



Mix, with sunset's fleeting glow, Kiss of friend, and stab of foe, Ooze of moon, and foam of brine, Noose of Thug, and creeper's twine, Hottest flame, and coldest ash, Priceless gems, and poorest trash; Throw away the solid part, And behold a woman's heart.


Methuen & Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London Second Edition First Published . October 16th 1919 Second Edition ... 1919







I could almost persuade myself, that others will like this little fable as much as I do: so curiously simple, and yet so strangely profound is its delicate epitome of the old old story, the course of true love, which never did run smooth.

And since so many people have asked me questions as to the origin of these stories, I will say a word on the point here. Where do they come from? I do not know. I discovered only the other day that some believe them to have been written by a woman. That appears to me to be improbable... Continue reading book >>

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