[A tenterground is "an area used for drying newly manufactured cloth". There is a street in Spitalfields of that name, with a large building purchased in 2008 as a studio by Tracey Emin-ence grise of the once-Young still-British Art-is-what-you-can-get-away-with-ists.]
- THE BOOKSELLER HAS A MOMENT OF MANIC
- Dismissed by the Kingsboroughs, Mary lands on the doorstep of publisher-bookseller Joseph Johnson with her first novel, "Mary: A Fiction." London, 1788
- Certain physical considerations have kept me from women, but there she was on my doorstep, a feral cat starved for the flesh of intelligent discourse. What manner of woman was this? No prospects, no sign of that surrender to man or God that hangs on such a condition? Genius maybe, but The Education of Daughters a flawed work, copies gathering dust in my warehouse— and she dares to chide "Little Johnson" for favoring price over appearance. Now I don't believe in witchery, but when she rushed in with her shabby beaver hat and a sheaf of new script (fiction!) to break on my chest like a wave of raw light, I gave up my shore. (It seems these moments come to certain asthmatics). Tonight, I assured her, she would sleep in the wings of St. Paul's. But first, she insisted, we would dine, she needed to eat. Then talk. And talk! A small man makes a good listener.