October 19: Margaret Atwood

Good Monday, Cobblers!

And by “good” I mean “ugh, it’s here again.” Although, I must admit, I find Mondays in October to be much less dreadful than Mondays during the rest of the year. It’s probably because they are just another step on the countdown to Halloween. 

For this Monday, I bring you the work of Margaret Atwood, featuring her poem “Half-Hanged Mary.”

I find this piece far more terrifying than many of our other features for Gothic Literature Month because it is based on fact. The poem is based on Mary Webster, who after being accused and aquitted of witchcraft, survived being hanged from a tree overnight. Atwood chose Webster as her subject after finding out that Webster was her ancestor. 

Whoa. Seriously creepy. 

Links, Links, Links

First up, an interview with Atwood from Philly.Org: “Q&A: Margaret Atwood talks about writing, editing, the future, Elvis robots, and Mae West.”

Next, we have a short fiction piece by Atwood from The New Yorker: “Stone Mattress.”

And lastly, a lecture on Webster by Bridgett M. Marshall at University of Massachusetts at Lowell: “Mary (Reeve) Webster, the Witch of Hadley.” 

That’s it for today, folks. See you tomorrow with some Sherlock. 


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