When the young and sensitive Auguste Saint-Clair notices an Etruscan vase on the mantelpiece of his beloved Mathilde, he becomes gradually consumed by jealousy at the thought that it could be the gift of another man, and the situation escalates dramatically as he demands proof from her that she loves only him.
A classic piece of French short fiction, ‘The Etruscan Vase’ is here presented alongside three other stories: ‘The Vision of Charles XI’, a dark tale of premonition set in the Swedish royal palace, ‘Tamango’, an account of a slave-ship revolt, and ‘The Blue Room’, a supernatural farce and one of Mérimée’s final works; as well as two non-fiction pieces: ‘A Hanging’, a description of a real-life public execution, and ‘H.B.’, a tribute to the writer Stendhal.
'Mérimée’s tales have gradually come to be considered perfect models of the narrative art, and we confess our own admiration for them is such that we feel like declaring it a capital offence in a young storyteller to put pen to paper without having read them and digested them. Henry James
'Douglas Parmée's more adventurous selection of six pieces is welcome… [his] versions do justice to Mérimée's readability.' TLS
Read an excerpt from The Etruscan Vase and Other Stories
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