I was approached by Trisha Hammer about a possible collaboration. Trisha is the designer and binder for Sherwin Beach Press. I’ve always admired their books so I eagerly agreed. She was interested in a 1901 book with the intriguing title Poisonous Plants in Field and Garden, by the Reverend Professor G. Henslow.
Ophile, Clothilde and Bettine are sisters who live together in a large house by the sea. One night their neighbor, the Lighthouse Keeper, is killed by lightning during a terrible storm. His son, Paris, returns to take his father’s place at the lighthouse. Ophile and Bettine fall in love with Paris, and he returns Bettine’s affections. Terrible rivalries ensue. A peculiar baby is born. Havoc and revenge result. Eventually some people die and others are reconciled.
The Adventuress is born in a laboratory, she is the result of alchemical experiments in early 19th century France. She is kidnapped and forced to marry a lascivious baron, but escapes by turning herself into a moth and flying into the gardens of Napoleon Bonaparte. She and Bonaparte become lovers and she gives birth to a cat. Although all ends tragically, there is forgiveness and transcendence in the end.