By Gordon Rugg
This article is the concluding part of a serial inspired by the concept of Dame Barbara Cartland writing with H.P. Lovecraft. In it, sentences from a Dame Barbara novel and from a Lovecraft short story have been stitched together into a startling new creation by an anonymous narrator. We have seen the two authors’ styles mesh seamlessly together in the previous episodes, but how will they handle the transition from depictions of anguished fear into the gentler climes of love?
The story so far…
In arguably the greatest love story since Twilight, the Earl of Rockbrook has been tempted by the wicked Lady Louise Welwyn. Convalescing in a nearby manor house after a riding accident, he falls in love with the beautiful Purilla, and asks her to marry him, so that they can return to his estate and live happily ever after. Will her response leave him as damaged emotionally as he was damaged physically by the fall? Or will she reveal a passion that matches his? What searing emotions will be revealed by her answer, and will the story end with the two living happily ever after, or will it have a twist of eldritch horror?
The Shunned Lioness and the Lily House
Episode 5: Purilla’s reply
The rest is shadowy and monstrous.
In this series, I’ve alternated between sentences from Dame Barbara Cartland’s The Lioness and the Lily and H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shunned House. The sentences from The Lioness and the Lily are not consecutive, but they are in chronological order. The sentences from The Shunned House are not in chronological order. The plot, such as it is, is a mixture of both stories.
I’ve used the Project Gutenberg edition of The Shunned House.
I’m using both texts under fair-use terms, as limited quotations for humorous purposes.
The photo of The Lioness and the Lily is one that I took, of my own copy of the book. I’m using it under fair use policy (humour, and it’s an image of a time-worn cover).
The other photos come from the locations below. I’ve slightly cropped them to fit, and given a faint pink wash to the pictures of Lovecraft and Cthulhu to make them more in keeping with the Cartland ethos.