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Verginia Q.

Author(s): Wakeman, Frederic Pages: 192
Publisher: S. Cape Date of Publication: 1959
Reading Level: Genre:
Setting: Pompeii Period: c 70 AD (Code: 7c1)
Rome Setting: n Christian/Jewish/Pagan: p
Mystery: n First Person:
Subject: Humorous explanation of the origin of the murals of the Villa dei Misteri in Pompeii. --- ÒWhen, some 2000 years ago, the VillaÕs owner, an impoverished Princess, decided to turn her white elephant into an asset by making the place a high-class residential club, she cast about (like many English and American owners of stately homes) for a gimmick to attract very paying guests. With the assistance of the sly huckster Cy, she resolved to restore the officially banned cult of Bacchus, which would be good for the VillaÕs wine sales and would culminate in a grand initiation ceremony. And since in Bacchus all desires were satisfied, it seemed only provident to stimulate desire with a series of murals, having as their motif the initiation of a genuine guaranteed virgin. Verginia Q was a young lady who claimed to possess an attribute rare in Ancient Rome Ð that of unsullied virginity. And so Verginia Q made her appearance on the walls. But the difficulties of procuring Ð or at least of engaging Ð a virgin were not the end of the PrincessÕs troubles. Apart from her son, whose interest in ruining the model bade fair to ruin the ceremony, she had to contend with the cynicism of one neighbour, the rabid curiosity of another, and the misapprehensions of a couple of wealthy socialites. Worst of all, on the night of the initiation she discovered that Verginia Q did not require anyÉ.Ó (jacket blurb, courtesy of Monroe Street Books)
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