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by Prosper Mérimée
Foreword Writer: Philip Pullman
Translator: Andrew Brown

A story about the dark forces that lurk beneath the façade of civilisation, where passions are brutal, and erotic love is seductive yet sinister.

When Don José meets a gypsy woman down by the river, he is intrigued by her exoticism, but he has no idea that his chance encounter with ‘the pretty witch' will have disastrous consequences. With her magic and her malevolent spirit, Carmen exerts a powerful charm on the submissive and unsuspecting José, who is drawn into a seedy underworld of bandits and smugglers – exploited and humiliated, until he is driven to the ultimate revenge. In Carmen, Mérimée introduced a classic literary type: the femme fatale who exploits her sexuality and mysterious air to ensnare and ultimately destroy the weak and unsuspecting man who is unfortunate enough to cross her path.

Carmen appears here with The Venus of Ille, a brilliant tale of the supernatural.

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