Punch,  56 (1869), 236.

Nightshade and Nightshade

Atropia Belladonna


Letter, Spoof


Narcotics, Botany, Medical Treatment, Crime

    Written from the perspective of the notoriously poisonous plant, deadly nightshade, who identifies herself as the cause of a 'case of poisoning' reported in the Pall Mall Gazette in an extract copied from the Liverpool Mercury. Belladonna corrects the misidentification in the newspapers of deadly nightshade as Solanum dulcamara, which she asserts is the relatively harmless 'woody nightshade' that makes a 'cosmetic potion better than anything advertised'. The narrator reveals that she is a 'distant relation' of Solanum dulcamara who possesses more powerful properties, and whose common name derives from her fatal 'killing qualities'.

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