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Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf
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Having bound Flora Francatelli to the chair, in the manner just described, the three nuns fell back a few paces, and the wretched girl felt the floor giving way under her. A dreadful scream burst from her lips as slowly, slowly the chair sank down; while the working of hidden machinery in the roof, and the steady, monotonous revolution of wheels, sounded with ominous din upon her ears. An ice-stream seemed to pour over her soul. Wildly she cast around her eyes; and then more piercing became her shrieks, as she found herself gradually descending into what seemed to be a pit or well... --from Chapter XIX: "The Descent.--The Chamber of Penitence" Fans of horror and students of the history of pulp fiction will be enthralled by this little-remembered early novel of werewolf fantasy, a "penny dreadful" first published in 1846-7 and written by British author GEORGE WILLIAM MACARTHUR REYNOLDS (1814-1879). The veritable Stephen King of his day--his lurid stories were more widely read than Dickens' work--Reynolds here gives us the strange exploits of Wagner, a 16th-century German peasant who made a pact with the devil for immortality, and hence was cursed to become a werewolf on a disturbingly regular basis. With his beautiful but wicked companion Nisida, he roams a world of Gothic nightmares, of horrifying intrigue, murder, and strange supernatural doings. Cosimo is proud to present this new edition of a forgotten classic, reproduced here in a charming replica of an 1865 edition, complete with the original illustrations.
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