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The Oval Portrait


The Oval Portrait is a horror short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, involving the disturbing circumstances surrounding a portrait in a chateau. The narrator, wounded and delirious, has sought shelter in an old mansion with his valet or manservant, Pedro. He holes up in one of the rooms, and contemplates the strange paintings adorning the walls of the room, and reads a small book he had found on the pillow of the bed, which contains information about the paintings. At around midnight, he adjusts the candelabrum in the room and his eye catches a portrait he hadn’t previously noticed, in an oval-shaped frame, depicting a young girl on the threshold of womanhood. The narrator is captivated by this portrait, which seems so life-like; but he soon becomes appalled by it. He turns to the book and reads the entry detailing the history behind the oval portrait. The woman depicted in it was the young bride of the painter and was a perfect wife in every respect – except that she was jealous of her husband’s art that distracted him from her. The artist paints a portrait of his wife and becomes more and more obsessed with capturing her likeness until he ends up spending all of his time gazing at the portrait of his wife, and hardly any time looking at her. She becomes weaker and weaker, dispirited from losing her husband’s love as he stops paying her attention and Poe-oval-portrait-illustration becomes more and more preoccupied with the painting… Enjoy free online English audiobook “The Oval Portrait”, a novel by Edgar Allan Poe.

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