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The Prophetic Pictures

From ''Twice Told Tales''

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Language: English
Wordcount: 6,259 / 25 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 746
Added to site: 2010.11.28 29723
Genre: Short Story

before a mirror, she could not have caught the look so successfully. Had the picture itself been a mirror, it could not have thrown back her present aspect, with stronger and more melancholy truth. She appeared quite unconscious of the dialogue between the artist and her lover.

"Elinor," exclaimed Walter, in amazement, "what change has come over you?"

She did not hear him, nor desist from her fixed gaze, till he seized her hand, and thus attracted her notice; then, with a sudden tremor, she looked from the picture to the face of the original.

"Do you see no change in your portrait?" asked she.

"In mine?--None!" replied Walter, examining it. "But let me see! Yes; there is a slight change,--an improvement, I think, in the picture, though none in the likeness. It has a livelier expression than yesterday, as if some bright thought were flashing from the eyes, and about to be uttered from the lips. Now that I have caught the look, it becomes very decided."

While he was intent on

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

Short story / Occult (Evil predictions) / Horror (Supernatural)

R: * * * *

Plot bullets

  • A portrait artist, paints the soul of his subjects into his pictures. They have a prophetic quality as they change overtime revealing the subjects in light of future moods and events.

  • Dorian Gray (The Portrait of Dorian Gray) had his problems with his picture taking on the accumulated effect of his base deeds. To be reminded of bad deeds is one thing. To know that they are yet to come, must be unbearable for anyone who's likeness is in one of, 'The Prophetic Pictures'.

A story in 'Twice Told Tales', first published in 1837.


Minor piece, not very hair-raising. I kept wishing it had been written by Poe.



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