Ink Black Heart: The Epigraphs

Ink Black Heart has 102 chapters presented as five Parts with a prologue of four chapters and ‘Coda’ single chapter finish for a total of 107 chapters. The book begins with an epigraph from Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s poem ‘Doubt,’ the prologue, five parts, and Coda begin with one from Henry Gray’s Gray’s Anatomy on the physical organ of the human heart, and each chapter begins with lines taken from Nineteenth Century English and American women poets.

The epigraphs will be essential to understanding Ink Black Heart. This achieved “We’ve Always Known That” status due to Professor Groves’ explanations in 2017 and 2018 of the poetic bookends of Cuckoo’s Calling and of the Jacobean Revenge Drama pieces introducing each part and chapter with Silkworm. Rowling’s use of Ibsen’s Rosmersholm and Spenser’s Faerie Queenin Strikes 4 and 5 were only confirmation of Groves’ ground-breaking work with Cuckoo and Silkworm. Prof Groves is already on the job with the epigraphs for Strike 6, for which see her Ink-Bottles, Anodos, and Anomie.

In anticipation of Dr Groves’ discussion of these epigraphs, please share your thoughts on the Gray’s Anatomy cardiac selections before the novel’s seven principal divisions and the heart-heavy poetry of Romantic and Viction women poets before the book and each chapter.


  1. Evan Willis says

    Minor plot connection: Both Gray and Rossetti are buried in Highgate Cemetery.

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