Angela Carter and the Insinuating Nightdress

The young heroine in Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber (which is based on the fairy tale, Bluebeard) is on a train, en route to her new, ghoulish husband’s castle.  When she arrives there and meets with him, she will have sex for the first time.

“Now and then a starburst of lights spattered the drawn blinds as if the railway company had lit up all the stations through which we passed in celebration of the bride.  My satin nightdress had just been shaken from its wrappings; it had slipped over my young girl’s pointed breasts and shoulders, supple as a garment of heavy water, and now teasingly caressed me, egregious, insinuating, nudging between my thighs as I shifted restlessly in my narrow berth.  His kiss, his kiss with tongue and teeth in it and a rasp of beard had hinted to me, though with the same exquisite tact as this nightdress he’d given me, of the wedding night, which would be voluptuously deferred until we lay in his great ancestral bed in the sea-girt, pinnacled domain that lay, still, beyond the grasp of my imagination…”

From the Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter

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