My tale ’The Lying, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ had its birth in Christina Rossetti’s poem warning of the power of sensual dangers and how good girls need to fight against their inherent sexuality. Students always read ‘The Goblin Market’ and think blah blah blah rules rules rules and never realise that Rossetti is rather ambivalent about the lure of sensuality. So I read it to them, aloud, slowly and with many well-chosen pauses.
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…
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