Valerie Martin (1948 – ) – Valerie Martin is an American university professor, novelist and short story writer. She is a graduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has one child, Adrienne, born in 1975. Her novels include Property (2003), Set in Motion (1978), Alexandra (1979), A Recent Martyr (1987), The Consolation of Nature and Other Stories (1988), The Great Divorce (1993), Italian Fever (1999), and The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories (2006), as well as Salvation: Scenes from the Life of St. Francis (2001), a biography of St. Francis of Assisi. Her most recent novel, Trespass, was published in 2007.
Mary Reilly (1990) is a retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the point of view of a servant in the doctor’s house. It was made into a film directed by Stephen Frears in 1996.
I set the lamp upon the table where it made a great clatter of light among the bottles and tubes there and I remembered the first time I come into this room so long ago and how I set my heart against it, so even then I must have known. All the time the truth was right before my eyes and especially that last night when I held Master up in the yard and saw the change come upon his face, and those other eyes looking out at me for a moment, but I would not understand, as if I was too stubborn to know it. How many times did he tell me?
But Master was right, who would believe it? How could one man be two — one kind, gentle, generous, the other with no care but his own pleasure and no pleasure but the suffering of his fellows?
I leaned upon the table and glared at the bottles, all glittering before me, and wanted to smash them but I had no strength. Indeed my knees no longer held me up so I slipped to the floor. Then I crawled to Master, speaking to him softly. His face was turned towards mine, his silver hair matted about it in a way I did not like to see, and his eyes, so wide and staring, seemed to look through my head at the table behind me. From the yard I could hear the sound of heavy footsteps and raised voices crossing to the theatre. They were coming to take him away, take him from me
entire, and they knew — now everyone would know — my gentle Master and Edward Hyde was one and the same. ‘But you said you no longer care for the world’s opinion,’ I said to him, ‘nor will I.’When I reached him I kissed his hand, as I did that night in the yard, then I tried to pry the bottle from him, for I did not like to see it, but his fingers was stiff, he held on with death’s own grip. ‘This is a cruel trick,’ I said to Master. ‘That he should take his own life and leave you behind to answer for it.’
glared: looked angrily
smash: crash, break
matted: in confusion
pry: take away
stiff : rigid
grip: grab, hold