Lady Margaret -- "Mims" to her
family and closest friends -- is the incarnation I know
least about (and therefore find most intriguing). She never
learned to read or write,
there are no diaries or correspondence left behind. She posed for only
one formal portrait in her lifetime, but she disliked the results so
much -- it made her look 'porcine,' she complained to her
sister -- that she never allowed the painting to be put on public
display. None of
her children survived her -- they were all stillborn or
died in infancy -- so tracing her genealogically has proven
It's almost as though she resists reactualization, even from the grave.
What I do know about her is this: she was taught from birth that women
were inferior to men. Indeed, she was raised to believe that
women were instruments of the devil, authors of original sin who
enticed men away from God, and that her only function in life was to
marry and bear children. Aside from religious training, she
received no formal education.
When she was nine years old, a local cleric took her into a coat closet
and kissed her full on the mouth.
When she was eleven years old, she took the tailor's son into the
same coat closet and kissed him
full on the mouth.
When she was thirteen years old, her parents chose for her husband a
wealthy land owner's son, a priggish lout named Cecil Gleecks.
Cecil, a contemporary of King Henry VIII, fancied himself a
ladies man, and was proudly and publicly unfaithful to Mims on more
than one occasion.
She once received a report that he had been observed in flagrante delecto
mother's seamstress, a young woman named Robertia, who later bore him a
daughter out of wedlock. When Mims herself proved unable to
produce a viable heir to the Gleeck family fortune, Cecil started a
rumor that she had been seen in a coat closet with her own brother,
kissing him full on the mouth. She
was immediately arrested. Fourteen days after her arrest, following a
sham trial that lasted approximately ten minutes, Mims was taken to the
town square and beheaded.
Subsequent incarnations, the current included, still feel the cold
the executioner's blade against the back of their necks sometimes.
Especially when we're standing in a coat closet. (And most
especially when we are standing in a coat closet, being kissed full on