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After Robert Aickman’s death in 1981 the manuscript of The Model, a wintry rococo fable set in Czarist Russia, was located among his papers. Aickman had told a friend he considered this novella to be ‘one of the best things I have ever written, if not the very best.’ It was duly published for the first time in 1987.
The Model tells of Elena, a grave girl inclined to losing herself in dreams of becoming a student ballerina or coryphée. Her dolour darkens further when she learns she is to be sold into marital slavery by her father so as to settle the family’s debts. Refusing an unendurable future she sets out to the city of Smorevsk to pursue her dream. First, however, she must traverse a landscape crowded by highly curious characters and creatures.
‘A must for Aickman fans … A model of eloquent elegant enchantment.’ Robert Bloch (Psycho)
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