If you listen to The Strike & Ellacott Files, you’ll know that we love to discuss the chapter epigraphs. Paying attention to them on a first read can provide hints for the upcoming chapter and on subsequent re-reads they can reveal extra insights into the characters and clues to the mystery. 

In episode 10 (Captain Ilsa), Pools revealed she had discovered a misattribution for the epigraph for chapter 29; and in our upcoming episode (episode 12), you’ll hear that we found two more epigraphs that were incorrectly attributed – including one that we only discovered while recording. 

For the sake of thoroughness (and obsession), we then checked all of the epigraphs to see if we could find any other errors. In total, we found five misattributed epigraphs. Four of them are the correct author but the wrong title, while one has the incorrect author and title. 


Chapter 29 


“I have been a witch’s prey,

Art mine enemy now by day,

Thou fell Fear? There comes an end

To the day; thou canst not wend

After me where I shall fare…”

Book says: Jean Ingelow, At One Again

Correct: Jean Ingelow, The Sleep of Sigismund 


Chapter 34 


“Death sets a thing significant

The eye had hurried by…”

Book says: Joanna Baillie, London

Correct: Emily Dickinson, Death Sets a Thing Significant 


Chapter 37


“… the work was done; the new-made king

Had risen, and set his feet upon his realm,

And it acknowledged him.”

Book says: Jean Ingelow, A Story of Doom

Correct: Jean Ingelow, Gladys And Her Island


Chapter 63


“Behold the agony

In that most hidden chamber of the heart,

Where darkly sits remorse…”

Book says: Felicia Hemans, Arabella Stuart

Correct: Felicia Hemans, Cathedral Hymn


Chapter 76


“What inn is this

Where for the night

Peculiar traveller comes?”

Book says: Emily Dickinson, XXXIV

Correct: Emily Dickinson, 115

We’re interested to see whether any changes will be made in the forthcoming paperback editions of The Ink Black Heart

We hope that you enjoy exploring the epigraphs with us! 


6 thoughts on “Epigraph Misattributions in The Ink Black Heart

  1. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. It is surprising that these things slip through with a writer as meticulous as Rowling.

  2. Great sleuthing! That is surprising – the challenges of copy-editing a book of this size…. There is another minor epigraph mistake which will hopefully be corrected for the paperback which is that the author of epigraph to Chapter 51 ‘Medea in Athens’ is given as Augustus Webster, but it is in fact Augusta Webster who it – satisfyingly! – buried in Highgate cemetery

    1. Ohh, interesting! I also found a typo for Chapter 69- The title of the epigraph by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
      is “She Sat Alone Beside H1er Hearth” when obviously, there shouldn’t be a 1. Luckily, that only appears in my Apple ebook.

      Another mistake in the ebook that is driving me crazy is that the sentence “Worm28 has been banned” appears randomly in chapter 35 when that doesn’t happen until almost the very end. I wonder if people using Kindle have these same mistakes or if it’s just Apple.

  3. I enjoy your explanations of the epigraphs on your podcast program. Do you know what translation of the I Ching is being used for The Running Grave?

    1. Hi Lorna,

      Thank you! Glad you enjoy. The translation of the I Ching being used in The Running Grave is by Richard Wilhelm. Hope this helps!


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