E. F. Benson


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From the acclaimed author of Mapp and Lucia comes the gothic tale of a cursed aristocratic family and two brothers vying to claim its dark legacy.

On a visit to the Sussex town of Rye, Queen Elizabeth I found herself captivated—and soon seduced—by a penniless young shepherd named Colin Stanier. According to family legend, their encounter was orchestrated by the devil himself. Colin had made a Faustian bargain to win success in all of life’s endeavors; a bargain that would be kept in the family by generations of eldest sons, so long as they maintain the Satanic covenant.
Centuries later, Raymond Stanier is the rightful inheritor of the family mansion and fortune. But his younger twin brother, Colin, who bears a striking resemblance to the portrait of his namesake, is willing to lie, seduce, and perhaps even kill to take the family seat for himself.
This saga of ambition, evil, and sensuality moves between generations and across the world from Rye to London, Naples, and Capri. “A story of greed and treachery, sibling rivalry, simmering passions and strange desires, Colin is compulsive reading” (Peter Burton).
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