The Victorian Chaise Longue

The Victorian Chaise Longue The charming childish wife of a successful lawyer falls asleep one afternoon on her Victorian chaise longue recently purchased in an antique shop and awakes in the fetid atmosphere of an ugly ove

  • Title: The Victorian Chaise Longue
  • Author: Marghanita Laski
  • ISBN: 9780897330978
  • Page: 388
  • Format: Paperback
  • The charming, childish wife of a successful lawyer, falls asleep one afternoon on her Victorian chaise longue, recently purchased in an antique shop, and awakes in the fetid atmosphere of an ugly, over furnished room she has never seen before This is the story of a trip backward in time in which a nostalgia for the quaint turns into a hideous nightmare.

    One thought on “The Victorian Chaise Longue”

    1. A small, but perfectly formed, chilling tale of psychological horror, from a very simple premise. The GR summary, in its entirety, says, "Tells the story of a young married woman who lies down on a chaise-longue and wakes to find herself imprisoned in the body of her alter ego ninety years before." Is it a nightmare, time travel, madness or altered state, or (as she eventually wonders), some sort of test from Fate, Providence, or God? It opens with a bald fear of death: firstly from a quotation [...]

    2. I cannot tell you enough how much my family and I enjoyed the PBS series The 1900 House. It's hard not to romanticize the Victorian era, so when a modern London family is given the opportunity to go back in time, and live in a remodeled home according to the customs of the era, they jump at the opportunity. Shoot, I'm sure I would have also, except that as the show went on, one realizes that modern advances in technology, science, and society have made life so much easier now.The Victorian Chais [...]

    3. 4.5*"Will you give me your word of honour," said Melanie, "that I am not going to die?"I love it when a book starts with a first sentence that packs a punch. With this one, we immediately know that what follows will be a story of life and death.The Victorian Chaise-longue is a very short (99 pages) novel about a woman in the late 1940s or early 1950s that is recovering from illness and suddenly finds herself in a most precarious situation - it appears she has woken up in 1864.I will not reveal a [...]

    4. At the end of this novel, I was actually very relieved to be out of it -- not because it's not good (it's excellent, as a matter of fact) -- but rather because while I was in it, I felt as trapped and as powerless as the narrator of this story. In fact, those two words -- trapped and powerless -- are actually good concepts to use here in thinking about the novel as a whole. Now, when a book can do that to me while I'm reading it, well, it's a good one. It's extremely rare that I find a book that [...]

    5. For a novella, these few pages pack a surprisingly strong punch.The plot is quite simple, at first - a 1950 young woman recovering from Tuberculosis falls asleep and wakes up 90 years earlier, in the body of a stranger. Sounds intriguing. Yes. It is also extremely unsettling, evoking feelings of imprisonment, doubt, and fear to name a few.How has this happen? Why? How can she come back to her own body and time? So many questions that Melanie tries to answer. Comparison between the two time perio [...]

    6. 2.5 StarsI seem to be in a reading slump. What I would do for a five star read right now.I had high hopes for this but I really dislike a book that ends with more questions than answers. I'm not that clever, people! Spell it out!This is the story of a young married, pregnant woman named Melanie in the 1950s with TB. She goes to sleep on a Victorian chaise longue and wakes up in 1864, an unmarried young woman named Millie who had incurable TB and a shameful secret. In her efforts to prove who she [...]

    7. Of all the books in the Persephone catalogue this is the one I've been looking forward to reading the most. Maybe it was the word 'Victorian' that appealed to me (I'm slightly obsessed with the Victorian period) or maybe it's just that it has sounded so fascinating in every review I've read. I've seen this book described as a horror story - 'a little jewel of horror'. For me, though, it wasn't so much frightening as unsettling and creepy.Melanie Langdon is a young mother recovering from tubercul [...]

    8. The first thirty pages of this short book alienated me by using the word "obedient" at least fifteen times to describe the main character. Isn't that why writers have editors? Actually, isn't that why writers skim over what they've written once or twice before they send their manuscripts to the editors? To me, the first third of this book was just fairly dreadful all around. I mostly stuck with it because reading bad writing helps me appreciate good writing that I'd otherwise take for granted.Th [...]

    9. 20 AUG 2014 -- a new-to-me author with a great review from my new friend, Eve (she reads great books). See Eve's review here --/review/show

    10. ACTUAL RATING: 3.5“The Victorian Chaise-Longue” is a short gothic horror about a 1950s bedridden housewife who falls asleep on an old chaise-longue and awakens eighty years in the past. The main character, Melanie, takes on the life of a deathly ill Victorian woman named Millie Baines. Little does she know that secrets lurk in Milly’s rotting Victorian past…Laski’s writing style is manic, jumping between lavish descriptions and clunky exposition with no room to breathe in between. As M [...]

    11. Written in 1953 this wasn't going to be like a modern day horror story, but it was a psychological horror. A woman falls asleep on a Victorian chaise-longue and is transported back into the body of a Victorian woman with consumption. She has to work out how to get back to the present day before the inevitable happens. I won't give away any more details but this was a quick one-sitting read which most people would probably like.

    12. ‘We seem to be together now, she explained, you and I both hopeless. I think we did the same things, she told her, we loved a man and we flirted and we took little drinks, but when I did those things there was nothing wrong, and for you it was terrible punishable sin. It was no sin for Melanie, she explained carefully, because the customs were different; sin changes, you know, like fashion. There can be no punishment for Melanie, only for you, and now the other side of the conversation awoke, [...]

    13. Synopsis:The Victorian Chaise-Longue was written by Marghanita Laski and published in 1953. The story follows a young woman recovering from tuberculosis who wakes up in the Victorian era one day when she falls asleep on her antique chaise-longue. She realizes she is trapped in another woman’s body who is a sort of alter ego of hers. Their lives have odd parallels, yet their stories play out differently because of the differing time periods. The woman struggles to return back to her normal life [...]

    14. Uma história curtinha de terror sobre uma mulher que adquire uma chaise-longue vitoriana e, ao dormir nela, se vê transportada para a casa onde o móvel foi originalmente feito, presa no corpo de uma moça vitoriana que está morrendo de tuberculose. Não é mal escrito, mas acaba sendo tudo meio bobo e desinteressante.

    15. Three and a half stars.I tracked this book down a few weeks ago after reading a review on a blog and being curious due to several points: 1) it is partly set in Victorian times 2) The review mentioned a feeling of similarity to Rosemary’s Baby which is a book I read about 20 years ago and loved! So, on to the book. Short at 124 pages this only took me a few hours to read. The story starts with Melanie who has been bed-bound for over a year due to having T.B. She gave birth to her son months be [...]

    16. This week I went to a talk on "Imagining Disease: Horror and Health in Medicine," by Catherine Belling, at the Mayo Clinic Center for Humanities in Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Belling discussed the meanings of horror, especially in relation to the body. Her excellent talk recalled to mind a book I read many years ago, which has stayed with me to this day: The Victorian Chaise Longue, by Marghanita Laski. I was in London staying at a bed and breakfast, the kind of place that appealed to stude [...]

    17. The Victorian Chaise-Longue is generally described as a horror story. The horror lies in the way the story plays upon the reader’s fears of entrapment and loss of control and confusion of identity. That nightmare thing of trying to get people to believe the unbelievable, of having no way out of a situation with only one possible horrifying conclusion.This is a novel about which it is difficult to write without potential spoilers, and so while I am intending to keep this short – I can’t pro [...]

    18. This novella could well be described as sci-fi horror, but it’s both easier to read and more deeply soul-searching than that implies. It explores, through a deceptively simple story, questions about life, death, love, illness, pain, secrets and probably other things that I missed. Melanie is a young, bubbly wife and mother recovering from a serious bout of TB in the 1950s. After being confined to her bed for eight months, she is thrilled when the doctor says she can be moved to another room, w [...]

    19. Questo curioso racconto pubblicato nel 1953 dalla scrittrice inglese Marghanita Laski è un esempio quasi dimenticato di short story dal twist insospettabilmente fantascientifico, pubblicata in piena golden age scifi ma in ambienti letterari diversi.È poco più di una storia breve per lunghezza, ma per qualità di scrittura (di un'eleganza letteraria invidiabile) e caratterizzazione psicologica della protagonista (inconsueta e tutto fuorché banale), rivaleggia per abilità con parecchi scritto [...]

    20. The Victorian Chaise Longue is a strange little novella that was originally published in the 50s. Strange because it’s about a young mother accidentally time travelling just by sleeping on a chaise longue, but also because its meaning is elusive.Melanie is a happily married housewife recovering from her first childbirth. After a nap on her new chaise longue, she wakes up in a stuffy Victorian bedroom, trapped in young Millie’s infirm body.Melanie tries to piece together from the strangers wa [...]

    21. Melanie, a young woman recovering from T.B. in the days before antibiotics, has just been allowed to get up from her bed and rest in another room for "a change of view". If only she hadn’t picked the Victorian chaise-longue to lie down on and take a nap… This short novel intertwines women’s issues, suspense, the supernatural, the psychological, and finally the spiritual. An eerie book, it would be a good story to read for Hallowe’en.

    22. In this creepy and very bodily feminist horror story, a modern woman with a healthy appreciation for fresh air, gramophone records, penicillin, and sex without guilt falls asleep on a chaise-longue and wakes up in the Victorian period. Naturally, it’s hell. My library copy had a fab c. 1950 author picture, in which Laski, looking brainy and arch, is holding a lit cigarette and wearing a lot of aggressive-looking arte moderne jewelry.

    23. I read this for the Sheffield Persephone book group and can't quite make my mind up if I thought it was genius or just a bit blah! As I was reading I thought it a bit dull, it was only after discussing that I picked up on things I had missed, connections that added depth I won't be writing a full review on my blog, but I'd probably give this 3.5. It's an unsettling read.

    24. This is one of my all-time favourites. Short and succinct, it tells the story of a decline into death; bound up, as the title suggests, with a Victorian chaise longue. But whose death? Charming, haunting and enigmatic in equal measure, this is a book that will stay with you forever.

    25. A short novel about a woman who purchases an antique chaise longue and is transported back to the era it came from. This is also a Persephone book.

    26. Maybe it was just me, but I don't really know how this book ended, hence only 2 stars. I felt like the author left the ending up to the reader, and I hate that. But it was beautifally written.

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