He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

The Blog

  • Top 20 Children’s Book Agents in 2022 image of tag icon

    If you want to write for kids, then you’re in luck! Every year, children’s books produce almost two billion dollars of revenue, and the market is only getting bigger each year. But with great size comes great competition. You’ll need an excellent agent to get your book published. Related posts: 30 Children’s Book Publishers Eager […]

    January 3, 2020

    Read More
  • How to Write a Children’s Book in 12 Steps (From an Editor) image of tag icon

    As a children’s book editor, I’ve helped hundreds of authors write, edit and publish their children’s book. Anyone can sit down and dash out a children’s book, and with a little help and guidance, yours can be good enough to earn the attention of thousands of children. And nothing beats the feeling of holding your […]

    February 2, 2019

    Read More
  • 30 Children’s Book Publishers Eager for Your Book image of tag icon

    The 30 children’s book publishers below all have one important thing in common: they are accepting submissions directly from authors. Since many children’s publishers only accept from agents, this list should save you hundreds of hours combing through the submission guidelines of every children’s publisher on earth. And here’s a bonus! You won’t even have to […]

    March 15, 2016

    Read More
  • 10 Ways Kids Can Learn Creative Writing image of tag icon

    I’m a writer and a parent, and fellow parents email me all the time, asking how they can help their kid become a creative writer. It’s not like these parents are pushing their kids into creative writing. Far from it. Their kid is writing stories at nighttime, under the covers with flashlight, and filling notebooks with […]

    March 12, 2016

    Read More