“Amelia”

I’m a member of Mark Samuels’ Patreon account and have access to various Samuels works. For obvious reasons, I’m not going to review his unpublished works, drafts, and alternate versions of published stories. However, from time to time, I’ll review some works I’ve come across there that have been published.

Review: “Amelia”, Mark Samuels, 1994. 

This is an early version from 1994 of what would become “The White Hands”. It was published in the magazine Black Altars

As Samuels notes on his Patreon page, it’s notable difference is a theme  aligning more towards “Poe-like Romanticism” than “The White Hands”. 

Most of the incidents are similar except, unlike the longer version of “The White Hands”, the narrator doesn’t visit Lilith Blake’s tomb. Indeed, there isn’t a Lilith Blake in this story but a very similar writer: Amelia Jefferys aka Henry Priestly. Muswell, when speaking of Jefferys, says

supernatural isolation when confronted with infinity, the sense of eternal loss and a love which cannot be consummated constitute the romantic impulse

as Edgar Allan Poe knew. 

And the narrator, once he sees Jefferys’ picture, falls in love with her. He takes steps to have Jefferys’ coffin exhumed and gaze upon her “supple and youthful” neck. While we hear of the narrator, named John Harrington, writing to Lilith Blake at the end of “The White Hands”, here we get a letter from Harrington to Jefferys.

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