Chlorine

Lomg-term Hooting Yard aficionados may recall that in the closing years of the last century I produced four or five calendars. Each of these had a specific theme, thus the 1992 Hooting Yard Calendar was entitled Accidental Deaths Of Twelve Cartographers, while its 1993 successor commemorated The Golden Days of the Bodger’s Spinney Variety Theatre. In 1994 I thought to illustrate a fictional work of fiction (Fangs In The Mist – a phrase stolen from J. P. Donleavy) and, in casting about within my bonce for a suitable name for the fictional author, I lit upon Chlorine Winslow. “Chlorine”, it seemed to me, sounded like it might well have been a popular girl’s name in Victorian times, and I recall that I chuckled immoderately to myself having decided upon it.

Now, years later, I discover this:

Mrs [Leonora] Piper had become a medium in 1883. The thing had happened in the usual way – by contagion. She had been suffering from a tumour and had gone to visit a medium who gave medical consultations, but who also specialized in developing latent mediumship in others. At her first sitting Mrs Piper felt very agitated and thought she was going to faint. On the next occasion, the medium put his hands on her forehead. Once more she was on the point of losing consciousness. She saw a flood of light, unrecognisable faces, and a hand which fluttered before her own face. She then passed out. When she came to, although she could remember nothing, she was told that a young Indian girl named.,incredibly, Chlorine, had manifested through her and had given a remarkable proof of survival after death.

From The Spiritualists : The Passion For The Occult In The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries by Ruth Brandon (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1983).

3 thoughts on “Chlorine

  1. Let’s not forget Lady Chlorine Skippington-Pip – http://hootingyard.org/archives/2138

    Chlorine is also the name of the bride in a love-song, ‘NaCl’, by the excellent Kate McGarrigle. The name changes, at marriage, to ‘Chloride’. The line that introduces her beau – ‘Somewhere in that sea lurks handsome Sodium’– is one of the more distinctive statements in Canadian folk-rock of the era. Essential listening at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpTzawl3OmI

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