by C. Margery Kempe
The Pre-Raphaelites seduce so many; I have the Tarot of Delphi to the left of me and a collection of postcards from the recent exhibit to the right of me, a ménage novelette Man City: Lizzie that features an art historian who tends pre-Raphaelite paintings in Manchester — and later this month, a novella inspired by Christina Rossetti’s The Goblin Market coming out in The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires.
If you don’t know about that, I urge you to check your pulse. Or pre-order it here!
“The Lying, The Witch and The Wardrobe” had its birth in the poem warning of the power of sensual dangers. Students always read it and think blah blah blah rules rules rules and then I read it to them, aloud, slowly.
She clipp’d a precious golden lock,
She dropp’d a tear more rare than pearl,
Then suck’d their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flow’d that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She suck’d and suck’d and suck’d the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She suck’d until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away
But gather’d up one kernel stone,
And knew not was it night or day
As she turn’d home alone.
My heroine loves the poem but she has no idea what secrets it holds, like the secrets that lie within her grandmother’s locked wardrobe — locked ever since she disappeared from the orchard one day. Jeanie inherited her own powers from that side of the family but things haven’t been working well for her. Can she turn her life around with her grandmother’s magic?
I’m not the only one obsessing over the Pre-Raphaelites. I cannot wait for the film EFFIE GRAY (h/t to Liz Hand for the link) from the fabulous Emma Thompson, my heroine!
Effie Gray trailer