Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Uncle Silas and Swedenborg

Having finished Elizabeth Arnim's delightful and charming novel, Princess Priscilla's Fortnight, I've decided to turn in another direction for reading material.

I've begun reading Uncle Silas, by the Victorian Gothic mystery writer Sheridan Le Fanu. This will be the second of Le Fanu's novels that I've read; his vampire novel Carmilla was the last book I read in 2015.

In Uncle Silas, one of the main characters, Austin Ruthyn is a follower of the Christian mystic (and some might say heretic) Emanuel Swedenborg. I'm very early into the novel and while Austin Ruthyn is a bit mysterious and creepy, it's too early to know exactly how Le Fanu may have felt about Swedenborg. I personally had never heard of Swedenborg until coming across this novel and I thought it best to read a little about the man to fully understand Uncle Silas. I don't think, however it will be necessary for me to read any of Swedenborg's work - his wikipedia article will do just fine.

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