The Love Song of Ardelia Mapp: Or, Anthea Rereads Silence of the Lambs

Ardelia Mapp was in her usual position, propped up in bed with a book. She was listening to all-news radio. She turned it off when Clarice Starling trudged in. Looking into Starling’s drawn face, blessedly she didn’t ask anything except, “Want some tea?”

When she was studying, Mapp drank a beverage she brewed of mixed loose leaves her grandmother sent her, which she called “Smart People’s Tea.”

Of the two brightest people Starling knew, one was also the steadiest person she knew and the other was the most frightening. Starling hoped that gave her some balance in her acquaintance.

Let’s talk about Ardelia Mapp for a little while, because I’m in love with her and the way her relationship with Clarice is portrayed.

First the facts, because if you haven’t read Silence it’s entirely possible you don’t remember or don’t know who Mapp is, as she is sinfully underused in the movie.

Starling and Mapp examining research in the laundry room; Silence of the Lambs, 1991.

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