A Surfeit of Mirrors
A SURFEIT OF MIRRORS
by Henri de Régnier
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Mike Hoffman
There are swords and mirrors there, jewels, dresses, crystal cups and lamps, along with the murmur of the sea, or the breath of forests. Listen to the springs sing. The gardens they animate are symmetrical. There, the statues are marble or bronze; the yew-trees are trimmed; the bitter odor of box-trees perfumes the silence; roses grow on the cypress. Make a tour of the pools. Go into the labyrinth, spend time in the arbors, and read my book, page by page, as if you were a solitary walker, turning over a beetle, a pebble or a dead leaf with the tip of your jasper-handled walking-stick...
Henri de Régnier (1864-1936) was by far the most prolific and the most popular of the Symbolist writers. His high fantasy stories, collected in La Canne de jaspe (1897) and Histoires Incertaines (1919), both included in this volume with several additional genre tales, were best-selling books, reprinted numerous times and still in print today.
A Byronesque man born out of his time, spiritually anchored in the 18th century, Régnier updated classic fairy tales and told stories of ghosts, monsters and creatures from Faerie, all set against the cold palaces and enchanted forests of the past centuries. In this classic of high fantasy, you will discover untold tales of Bluebeard and Scheherazade, learn of the legends of the Lady of the Seven Mirrors and the Knight Who Fell Asleep in the Snow, marvel at the adventures of Hermagore the Fisherman and Monsieur d'Amercoeur, who frequented the beds of princesses and the courts of kings, who bore the sword and wore the mask...
SYMBOLIST TALES [Contes à soi-même, 1894 + La Canne de Jaspe, 1897]:
Instead of a Frontispiece
Bluebeard's Sixth Marriage (1892)
Eustase and Humbeline (1893)
Manuscript Found in a Cupboard
The Tale of the Lady of the Seven Mirrors
The Knight Who Fell Asleep in the Snow
The Living Doorknocker
The Unexpected Cup
THE BLACK TREFOIL [Le Trefoil Noir, 1895]
UNCERTAIN STORIES [Histoires Incertaines, 1919]:
The Sealed Pavilion
Marceline; Or, The Fantastic Punishment
Addendum: The Last Chapter of "Marceline"
The Widowhood of Scheherazade [Le Veuvage de Shéhérazade, 1925]
Paradise Regained [Le Paradis retrouvé, 1937]
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.