The Luck of the Vails

EF Benson

A Cursed Goden Goblet

When the Luck of the Vails is lost,

Fear not fire nor rain nor frost;

When the Luck is found again,

Fear both fire and frost and rain

The Luck of the Vails revolves around a cursed golden goblet that has been in the possession of the Vail family for generations. When Harry Vail, twelfth baronet, discovers the chalice in an attic, has he unleashed the curse? Is the family curse coming true with supernatural elements at play? Or is it something far more down to earth? Only the surprising ending will reveal all.

  • Classification : Classic Crime & Adventure/Thrillers
  • Pub Date : JUN 20, 2023
  • Imprint : YELLOWBACK
  • Page Extent : 340
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9789357310840
  • Price : INR 499

EF Benson

Edward Frederic Benson OBE (24 July 1867 29 February 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, archaeologist and short story writer. Benson's first book was Sketches from Marlborough. He started his novel-writing career with the (then) fashionably controversial Dodo (1893), which was an instant success, and followed it with a variety of satire and romantic and supernatural melodrama. He repeated the success of Dodo, which featured a scathing description of composer and militant suffragette Ethel Smyth (which she "gleefully acknowledged", according to actress Prunella Scales), with the same cast of characters a generation later: Dodo the Second (1914), "a unique chronicle of the pre-1914 Bright Young Things" and Dodo Wonders (1921), "a first-hand social history of the Great War in Mayfair and the Shires".

The Mapp and Lucia series, written relatively late in his career, consists of six novels and two short stories. The novels are: Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, Lucia in London, Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress (published as The Worshipful Lucia in the United States) and Trouble for Lucia. The short stories are 'The Male Impersonator' and 'Desirable Residences'. Both appear in anthologies of Benson's short stories, and the former is also often appended to the end of the novel Miss Mapp.

Benson was also known as a writer of atmospheric and at times humorous or satirical ghost stories, which often were published in story magazines such as Pearson's Magazine or Hutchinson's Magazine, 20 of which were illustrated by Edmund Blampied. These "spook stories", as they were termed, were reprinted in collections by his principal publisher Walter Hutchinson. His 1906 short story 'The Bus-Conductor', a fatal-crash premonition tale about a person haunted by a hearse driver, has been adapted several times, notably during 1944 (for the film Dead of Night and as an anecdote in Bennett Cerf's Ghost Stories anthology published the same year) and for a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone.

Benson died during 1940 of throat cancer at the University College Hospital, London. He is buried in the cemetery at Rye, East Sussex.

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