The mulberry tree / by Sasha Ward

 Kelmscott Manor from the west in April and September

Kelmscott Manor from the west in April and September

This was one of my first drawings of the Manor, from a picnic bench in the meadow. That view is now obliterated by fruit trees; I have hardly looked at the west side of the Manor recently because the mulberry tree is so overpowering - you can see it hiding the two right hand gables in the picture above. The path in front of the green room windows has been closed off because of disturbingly dropping fruit, and I am taken straight into the world of Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market". 

 Mulberries, blackberries, cartoon of CGR by DGR

Mulberries, blackberries, cartoon of CGR by DGR

The cartoon, above right, is one of a number of fantastic drawings by DGR at Whitwick Manor. It shows Christina in one of her tantrums smashing furniture, in reference to a favourable 1864 review in the Times that included the line, "Miss Rossetti…can point to finished work - to work which it would be difficult to mend".  If you haven't got anyone, ideally a sister, to read "Goblin Market" aloud to you, here is a link to the poem.

www.bbc.co.uk/poetryseason/poems/goblin_market