07 Aug 2014 The Chimera Jewel"My Last Duchess", My Weekly | Elizabeth Loupas
Love, says Duke Alfonso to his duchess Barbara of Austria in The Second Duchess, is a chimera of poets and adulteresses.
And in a new short story called “The Chimera Jewel,” which I’ve written exclusively for My Weekly magazine, Alfonso presents Barbara with a particularly meaningful gift:
In the box there was a jewel, encircled with diamonds and sapphires, depicting a graceful but clearly mythological beast fashioned in gold and embellished with more precious stones. It had the forequarters of a lioness, the head of a horned goat rearing from its back, and a snake for a tail.
“A chimera,” I said. A mythological beast, yes, but also a symbol of something that could exist only in the imagination….
It was a wonderful experience to enter the world of sixteenth-century Ferrara again, the color and excitement of the Berlingaccio revels, and the endlessly fascinating relationship between Duke Alfonso and Duchess Barbara. So mannered and cool on the surface, yet burning with fire and ice underneath. The chimera jewel is Alfonso’s way of saying “I love you” to his second duchess—something he would never “stoop” (as dear Mr. Browning puts it) to say in so many words.
What does Barbara do with the jewel?
Well, that’s the story. 🙂
Buy this week’s copy of My Weekly and read “The Chimera Jewel” for yourself. You’ll also be offered a chance to win the UK mass-market paperback edition of The Second Duchess.
Not in the UK? Well, My Weekly is generous with allowing the rights to the story to eventually revert to me. Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter, and one day soon I’ll send out a link to “The Chimera Jewel” online!