Ink Black Heart – the Dedications

Sunday morning the super fans at The Tottenham posted on their Instagram account a clip of Robert Glenister reading the dedication page from The Ink Black Heart.

It is a short clip, but allows us to begin our investigations.

To Steve and Lorna, my family, my friends, and to [two]  bulwarks against Anomie, with love.

Steve and Lorna are almost certainly the same as Steve and Lorna Barnes from the acknowledgements in Silkworm.

Lorna and Steve Barnes, who enabled me to drink in The Bay Horse, examine the tomb of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill and find out that Robin’s hometown is pronounced ‘Mass-um’ not ‘Mash-em’, saving me much future embarrassment.

The Bay Horse and the tomb of Sir Marmaduke are all located in Mashem, so it’s reasonable to assume the Barnes’s are local to this area. It’s also reasonable to assume this Lorna is the sister to Neil Murray, who acted as bridesmaid at the Rowling-Murray wedding and teased her about meeting Morrisey.

There to more than one way read the dedication:

To Lorna and Steve, [they are] my family, [and they are also] my friends, and [they are also] two bulwarks against anomie.

To Lorna and Steve, [and to:] my family, [and also to:] my friends, and [also] to[:] bulwarks against Anomie.

The first credits Lorna and Steve as being more than family and friends, it credits them with being her moral centre, despite the opportunities that money and influence might present. See Prof Freeman’s excellent primer to anomie. The second gives a broader dedication to all who help against anonymous trolls and internet ne’er-do-wells. Which it is will finally be revealed on publication.

Speaking of internet ne’er-do-wells the twitter account for Anomie has found this dedication, and thanked the author for the mention:


  1. Good work, as ever, Nick! I’m sure you’re right about the identification, and its a nice follow on from the dedication of Troubled Blood to her mother-in-law. We’ll know in a fortnight, but for what its worth, I’m certain we’ll be finding out that these two – by being both her family and friends – form with that double bond a double bulwark against the unsocial aspects of anomie. (It’ll be ‘two’ not ‘to.’)

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