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QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."

— Edgar Allan Poe, letter to a friend in January 1848
THE LADY AFTERWARDS: BOXED EDITION
Long-awaited pre-order boxes are due to ship ahead of schedule in the week beginning Monday 14th February.

We'll also be releasing another 1,000 Lady Afterwards boxes for sale later this year. We'll announce the release date in advance, and offer them in tranches so everyone has a fair shot at getting one. (And so I don't go insane packing them all at once. 👍👍👍)
QUICK LINKS
REVENGE FOR THE VIOLIN, OR THE BAITED "ICHTHYOLOGIA OHIENSIS"
For three weeks in 1818, naturalist Constantine Samuel Rafinesque stayed with his naturalist friend John James Audubon in Kentucky. One night an unrecognised species of bat appeared in Rafinesque's room and he attempted to knock it out of the air to study it, using the first implement that came to hand: Audobon's favourite violin. The violin did not survive the incident (though I think the bat did).

In retaliation, Audobon began to show Rafinesque drawings of increasingly amazing 'discoveries' he'd made of never-before-seen Ohio fish, from the Big-Mouth Sucker to the ten-foot-long bulletproof Devil-Jack Diamond Fish, which Rafinesque excitedly drew, annotated and ultimately published as his 1820 Icthyologia Ohiensis. The book contains a few heartbreaking moments of doubt - "This genus rests altogether on the authority of Mr. Audobon, who has presented me with a drawing of the only species belonging to it. It appears very distinct if his drawing be correct; but... is it only a Sturgeon incorrectly drawn?" - and was promptly and humiliatingly laughed out of academia.

This elaborate revenge ultimately backfired on Audobon, as he struggled to convince that same scientific community that the birds he'd actually discovered in his 1827 Birds of America were real. Serves him right, the meanie.
AK'S READING REC: THE KING MUST DIE
Hilary Mantel wrote that “more than almost any novelist, Renault understood the deliciousness of mundane and technical details... The pattern of scarring ‘you see’ on the arms of a cavalryman and the shock of seeing bare-faced Etruscan actors... the practicalities of acting in an 18,000-seater Corinthian theatre where ‘in the top row they can hear you sigh’; the way mourning women have to stop for a chat when they’re tired out with wailing; and how men yawn as they bleed to death.” Renault’s ironic, affectionate sense of the shape of the human heart still warms me. Stone, Storm and Salt in Sunless Sea would be very different if I hadn’t read this.
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