A Modest Adornment by Margiad Evans

read on 14/12/17

!SPOILERS!

I read ‘A Modest Adornment’ from Margiad Evans’ collection of short stories, ‘The Old and the Young’ for my Literary Theory module and an essay on Queer theory.

In my first reading, I found Evans’ description detailed and ambiguous. Her short story was almost a Mystery as well as a Tragedy. I enjoyed this clash of genres and thought it was an incredibly unique read. I found myself debating the ending, but not in a normal literary sense, in an Agatha Christie murder mystery sense (particularly since I listened to Murder on the Orient Express recently).

Upon the second reading of this text, I found that the detailed descriptions I before thought were ambiguous, were revealing and ironic. Her use of extended metaphors is brilliant. I’ve read that her other short stories often include queer characters and that musicality is embedded in most of these relationships, including Miss Plant and Miss Allensmoore’s.
Although initially, I approached the first page reading it as a comedy, it certainly isn’t. Particularly the second time around. Evans deals with some hard topics; closeted homosexuality and coping with the death of a loved one.

I am hoping to read more of Evans’ short stories as well as ‘Country Dance’. Finally, I love that Evans goes by a different name for her illustrations, which she often includes in her short stories and published works. This is the sort of person I aspire to be, a writer and an artist.

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