54 great opening lines: 51

Queen Maritorne was the terror of greedy thieving children: she reigned from the attic, where lines of pears and apples ripened, to the vat from which the wine was drawn; she was also the punishment for drunks, and without warning would leap out from the cask tapped by the dishonest valet.

Queen Maritorne, Jean Lorrain (Translated by me)


This is the opener of a fairy tale I translated in France.  I felt like I’d met her before, this queen who punishes overeaters and overdrinkers.


Author: Trish

Literary translator, French to English. Family history amateur.

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