The short story “Mistress of Maxley” is a short story by the author, E.F. Benson. The story contains an extremely lengthy exposition that quickly introduces the setting and main protagonist in grave detail. However, each detail is very important to the story. The setting in the story is the village of Maxley, upper Sussex in England. Maxley is described as a rural and peaceful village which is far away from the attention and conflicts of the bigger cities. The setting however, is very ironic because since the village of Maxley is so quiet and calm, vampirism is unexpected to occur. The main protagonist introduced in Francis Urcombe and the main antagonist, Mrs. Amworth.
The inciting incident in the story occurs when Mrs. Amworth accidentally drops in on the narrator when Urcombe was already visiting. It is known well that Mrs. Amworth and Mr. Urcombe are not well acquainted and Mrs. Amworth prefers to see the narrator without Urcombe present. Francis Urcombe is retelling a story to the narrator about the outbreak of vampirism years ago in Peshawar, India. As Mrs. Amworth drops in, she shakes the story off as a ghost story and not well worth to believe in. As she promptly leaves, Urcombe then recalls that Mrs. Amworth was present during the outbreak and that her husband was one of the victim’s of the mysterious disease.
The climax occurs when at early morn, when Urcombe and the narrator go to the graveyard to put a stake through Mrs. Amworth’s heart as she rests in the grave of her relative, Elizabeth Chaston. This is the climax because all the previous incidents were a part of the rising action because during this event, the readers become at the highest point of attentive reading.
The main protagonist of the story is introduced in the exposition quickly. The protagonist is Francis Urcombe. He is a retired professor of physiology who happens to study the paranormal. The paranormal includes, vampires, haunted houses and more so. Before Urcombe’s suspicions about Mrs. Amworth, he was quite disinterested in her. Even though Mrs. Amworth was the well-known...