‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter

A story for November
 
‘The Bloody Chamber’ has one of my favourite scenes: a young woman trapped in Bluebeard’s castle and facing a beheading by her husband is rescued in a wild, theatrical, tremendous moment:

You never saw such a wild thing as my mother, her hat seized by the winds and blown out to sea so that her hair was her white mane, her black lisle legs exposed to the thighs, her skirts tucked round her waist, one hand on the reins of the rearing horse while the other clasped by father’s service revolver.”

Yeah! Her mother bursts into the castle one of the many very visible, vocal, violent women in this short story collection. It’s set in the winter, making the most of the bleak, cold imagery that it offers: “The heavy sword, unsheathed, grey as that November morning, sharp as childbirth, mortal.” 

First published in The Bloody Chamber, Gollancz, 1979. Available from Vintage Classics

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