a) The Unicorn
As with the night-scented stock, the full
splendour of the unicorn manifests itself most potently
at twilight. Then the horn sprouts, swells, blooms
in all its glory. SEE THE HORN
(bend the tab, slit in slot
Despite being one of the most influential - and best-loved - of the post-war English writers, Angela Carter remains little-known as a poet. In Unicorn, the critic and historian Rosemary Hill collects together her published verse from 1963-1971, a period in which Carter began to explore the themes that dominated her later work: magic, the reworking of myths and their darker sides, and the overturning of literary and social conventions. With imagery at times startling in its violence and disconcerting in its presentation of sexuality, Unicorn provides compelling insight into the formation of a remarkable imagination.
In the essay that accompanies the poems the critic and historian Rosemary Hill considers them in the context of Carter's other work and as an aspect of the 1960s, the decade which as Carter put it 'wasn't like they say in the movies'.
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About the Author
Angela Carter was one of the foremost writers of the twentieth century. Her novels include Wise Children, The Magic Toyshop and Nights at the Circus, as well as the short-story collection The Bloody Chamber and the essay The Sadean Woman. She won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Nights at the Circus and the Somerset Maugham Award. She died in 1992.
Rosemary Hill is a writer and historian. She has written two prize-winning books, God's Architect, a life of A.W.N. Pugin and Stonehenge. She is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books, a fellow the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society of Literature and a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She lives in London and is working on a history of antiquarianism in the Romantic period.