The Enchantment

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Paris in the 1880s. Louise Strandberg has fallen ill visiting her bohemian artist friends. An almost-famous French painter calls round and, somehow inevitably, she falls heavily under his spell. A year later, having run herself deep into debt on his account despite his coolness towards her, she - somehow also inevitably - kills herself. This story of an amour fou followed by suicide is uncannily reflected in the author's own life. Victoria Benedictsson killed herself at the end of a long, unrequited affair. She is said to be the model for two of the most famous suicides in drama: in Miss Julie (published the year of her death) and Hedda Gabler , published two years later. Hitherto completely unknown in this country, The Enchantment is a remarkably fresh and fascinating take on the 19th-century obsession with the doomed love affair, which includes La Dame aux Camelias and Therese Raquin.