The Ebony Tower (ET!) is one of my favourite of John Fowles’ books, both as a superb and varied collection of short stories and, especially, the title novella. There are unmistakeable echoes of The Magus and a reasonable argument could be made that the story is a distilled version in a different setting (albeit without the magnificent and mesmerizing whistles and bells of the longer novel).
A younger man visits the domain of an older man wiser in the ways of life and art. The pair of resident females (friends rather than sisters in this case) “The Mouse” and “The Freak” must bring to mind June and Julie Holmes (or should I say Lily and Rose?). Musing further, one can’t help thinking of sisters Jane and Nell in Daniel Martin, and were there not a pair of cockney twins that Daniel Martin was lucky enough to have an affectionate fling with?
The film version of ET (this ET not that one) featuring Lawrence Olivier, Roger Rees, Toyah Wilcox, and Greta Scacchi is a lovely piece. Worth watching just to loose oneself in the sleepy French countryside if nothing else. But what about the other short stories in this magic collection?