The Stress of Her Regard
The Stress of Her Regard is a 1989 horror/fantasy novel by Tim Powers. It was nominated for the 1990 World Fantasy and Locus Awards in 1990, and won a Mythopoeic Award. As with a number of Powers' other novels, it proposes a secret history in which real events have supernatural causes: in this case, the lives of famous English Romantic writers—as well as political events in central Europe during the early 19th century—are largely determined by a race of protean vampire-like creatures known as nephilim.
Drawing from European and Middle Eastern mythology, Powers depicts these beings as having qualities of vampires, succubi, incubi, Lamia, fairies, and jinn. Not only predators but sometimes benefactors of humans, they are the basis for both the Muses and the Graeae.
The novel's title is taken from the poem "Sphinx and Medusa" by Clark Ashton Smith ("...Yet thought must see/That eve of time when man no longer yearns,/Grown deaf before Life's Sphinx, whose lips are barred;/When from the spaces of Eternity,/Silence, a rigorous Medusa, turns/On the lost world the stress of her regard.").
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