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The Lady of the Shroud is a novella by Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula), written in 1909.
The book is an epistolary novel, narrated in the first person via letters and diary extracts from various characters, but mainly Rupert. The initial sections, leading up to the reading of the uncle's will, told by other characters, suggest that Rupert is the black sheep of the family, and the conditions of having to live in the castle in the Blue Mountains for a year before he can permanently inherit the unexpectedly large million-pound estate suggest the uncle is somehow testing the heir.
Rupert Saint Leger inherits his uncle's estate worth more than one million pounds, on condition that he live for a year in his uncle's castle in the Land of the Blue Mountains on the Dalmatian coast. There Rupert tries to win the trust of the conservative mountaineer population by using his fortune to buy them modern arms (from a South American country that has unexpectedly found itself at peace) for their fight against Turkish invasion (the story was written shortly before the Balkan Wars). One wet night, he is visited in his room in the castle by a pale woman wearing a wet shroud, seeking warmth. He lets her dry herself before his fire, and she flees before morning. She visits several more times, all at night, and they hardly speak, but he falls in love with her, despite thinking she is a vampire. He visits the local church and finds her in a glass-topped stone coffin in the crypt. Despite misgivings he declares his love, be she living or undead, and she arranges the marriage in an Orthodox ceremony conducted by candlelight in the church one night, although he still does not know her name, and she says she must still live alone in the crypt for the present.
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