The Tinted Venus

A Farcical Romance

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Author: F. Anstey (Thomas Anstey Guthrie)
Published: 1898
Language: English
Wordcount: 59,784 / 175 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 72.4
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,383
Added to site: 2008.01.13 19625
Genres: Romance, Humor

An engagement ring can't bring a statue to life -- can it? The goddess Aphrodite reanimates an ancient statue and fastens herself on to a foolish hair-dresser in London--the grandeurs of classical paganism and the banalities of our common modern life in ludicrous opposition.

Show Excerpt

pen; though there ain't much going on out-of-doors, being the last night of the season."

Bella again wished that they had selected the Adelphi for their evening's pleasure, and remarked that Jauncy "might have known."

"Well," said the latter to the party generally, "what do you say--shall we go in, or get back by the first train home?"

"Don't be so ridiculous, James!" said Bella, peevishly. "What's the good of going back, to be too late for everything. The mischief's done now."

"Oh, let's go in!" advised Ada; "the amusements and things will be just as nice indoors--nicer on a chilly evening like this;" and Leander seconded her heartily.

So they went in; Jauncy leading the way with the still complaining Bella, and Leander Tweddle bringing up the rear with Ada. They picked their way as well as they could in the darkness, caused by the closely planted trees and shrubs, down a winding path, where the sopped leaves gave a slippery foothold, and the branches flicked moisture


Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***

Not as good as other Anstey books I’ve read. The Venus character and story line were less than expected, but still entertaining.

Allan H. Clark

This enjoyable farce served as the basis for the Broadway musical One Touch of Venus which launched the career of Mary Martin. The novel is pleasant enough, but hardly great writing. The humor is a bit forced by today's standards, but there are some good bits.

The story of a statue that comes to life when a ring is placed on its finger goes all the way back to the middle ages and is found in William of Malmsbury's Chronicles of the Kings of England. It was the basis for the opera Zampa (1831) and for Prosper Mérimee's story, The Venus of Ille (1837).

In this case it is a London hairdresser, Leander Tweddle, who places a ring intended for his fiancée on a statue of Venus, which comes to life and considers him pledged to her. His every effort to extricate himself from this predicament and hold onto his fiancée goes awry. There are a few twists and surprises along the way to a happy ending.

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