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GHOSTS OF THE VORTEX XII: Emilienne


Can't sing a note, not even the Marseillaise — oh, I'll give it a go when occasion demands — but I did have the X-Factor they were looking for. Once the press got hold of it I was an overnight sensation: the ‘Heroine of Loos’, a new Joan of Arc. Golden salons, cocked hats, bemedalled generals and the public square, as the ballyhoo broke over me. At seventeen I was that month's face-of-the-war, mounting the ‘Staircase of Heroes’ to the Panthéon, blazing my brief comet of a season. Sold an exclusive to Le Petit Parisien and got locked in some chateau to homespin thoughts for the nation. My reason for telling you? I'm not even writing this.


Martin Malone