Image of lady by bushes “To be blunt: I must escape.”

1893. Henry Nettleblack runs away from home to evade her elder sister’s plans to marry her into the aristocracy. Equipped with £50 and a ferret, she is ambushed, robbed, and then rescued by a mysterious organisation run by women – part detective agency, part neighbourhood watch – in which she enlists. Nettleblack is a subversive and playful ride (with bicycles, rodents and a decadent, Welsh-speaking chwaer) through the perils and joys of finding your place in the world, challenging myths about queerness – particularly transness – as a modern phenomenon, while exploring the practicalities of articulating queer perspectives when you’re struggling for words.

Nettleblack arrives breathlessly, wholly itself, yet also winding down the strange and brilliant bent lanes previously ridden by Sylvia Townsend Warner and Robert Aickman.” -So Mayer, author of A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing

“Nat Reeve’s debut sizzles and crackles with confidence, offering a timeless tale of LGBTQ people finding family wherever they can. A delight!” – Ally Wilkes, author of All the White Spaces

Nat Reeve is a novelist from Gower, currently finishing a PhD in Victorian art, literature and queerness at Royal Holloway, University of London. In academical guise, they mostly write about Elizabeth Siddal causing havoc with medieval objects, or horrible geese invading Pre-Raphaelite artworks. They have also been known to edit, perform in and direct Victorian plays and operas, to the sideburn-stricken bafflement of their audiences. Their debut novel Nettleblack was published by Cipher Press in 2022, with a sequel to follow in 2024.

Nat’s work on Siddal can be found in Word & Image (Vol. 38, 2022) and Pre-Raphaelite Sisters: Art, Poetry and Female Agency in Victorian Britain, edited by Glenda Youde and Robert Wilkes (forthcoming). Nat was also the 2020/21 Amy P. Goldman Pre-Raphaelite Fellow at the University of Delaware and Delaware Art Museum.

Dr Marie-Luise Kohlke is the general and founding editor of the open-access e-journal Neo-Victorian Studies.

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Thursday November 24th, 2022

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