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The Romance of the Canoness

A Life-History

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Author: Paul Heyse
Published: 1887
Language: English
Wordcount: 85,843 / 246 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.6
LoC Category: PT
Downloads: 621
Added to site: 2010.10.22 29336
Genre: Romance

The Canoness is a privileged lady, as worldly as she is religious; she loses her title when she becomes Frau Spielberg, the actor's wife. Johannes Theodo Weissbrod is educated as a clergyman and goes to her uncle as a tutor. In all German stories, naturally enough, it is the French woman who is the Jezebel. There has been an "affair" between the uncle and Mlle. Suzon Duchanel, and the uncle tries to foist her upon the theological student, offering him a situation as clergyman if he will marry her. Weissbrod declines and leaves. In the meantime Louise, the canoness, has eloped with an actor. Of course the actor neglects his wife and she becomes impoverished. She returns to a place near her uncle's castle, enters an almshouse, and devotes herself to its inmates and dies after confessing her love for Weissbrod.

Show Excerpt

a few engravings in dark wooden frames, and the simple but tasteful furniture, a sofa with a bright calico cover, a book-case, a chest of drawers, a bed with white curtains, the flowers on the window-sill, would have made a cheerful impression, had not a coffin stood on a low trestle in the middle of the room. Over the shining boards was flung a large, gayly embroidered rug, whose artistically wrought flowers and vines were almost entirely concealed by garlands of natural blossoms. The dead woman was attired in a plain white shroud; the head was toward the window; at the feet lay a large laurel wreath tied with a broad white satin bow; the hands, which were large, but very beautiful in shape, rested on the bosom, but were not clasped; the head inclined a little to the right, so that I could see it perfectly from the threshold.

There was nothing to inspire horror; a quiet, mysterious charm pervaded the features, which, spite of the silvery hue of the smoothly brushed hair, still wore a look of youth: it



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