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Praise be! Why Margaret Atwood is the best thing on Instagram right now

Atwood launches The Testaments in London
Atwood launches The Testaments in London Credit: Instagram/MargaretAtwood

For those of us who weren't present at Margaret Atwood's London launch of The Testaments, who didn't get a Handmaid cupcake, who weren't accidentally sent an advanced copy of the book by Amazon, and were simply too tired to stay up until midnight to queue, the publication of the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, today, could feel a little remote.

But praise be! The 79-year-old Canadian author has been keeping us abreast of her movements in the UK on Instagram (which she has only used a handful of times since joining in September 2017) and Twitter, posting pictures of everything from her meeting with Mary Beard to her green manicure. 

Here's how Atwood has brought Gilead fandom to Great Britain...

1.  Blessed be the Dairy Milk

Can I be the first to request that this exquisite chocolate Handmaid's head - left in a hotel room to greet Atwood - be mass produced for Easter 2020? Preferably with the egg empty apart from the pages of The Handmaid's Tale in which the author writes: “We are two-legged wombs, that's all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices.” 

2. 'The smell of nail polish has made me hungry'

...as Offred says in the 1985 novel. But where the symbolic colour of The Handmaid's Tale was unquestionably red - like the cloaks worn by the Handmaids themselves - The Testaments has gone neon green, and Atwood chose the colour for her nails ahead of the UK launch. Well, if you're going to scratch 'Nolite te bastardes carborundorum' into a wooden floor, you're going to need a good manicure.

 3. Under her eye

Two wise women with superhuman intelligence; one making a "bunny ears" sign behind the other. What could be better? Atwood posted this picture after recording with Prof Mary Beard for BBC Radio 4 - we'll be in the Front Row.

4. Cakevaganza

The TV series of The Handmaid's Tale sparked a baking trend for red velvet cupcakes with white bonnets. But this batch, prepared for the London launch of The Testaments (at least, we're assuming they were fresh and not left over from 1985), mean it's out with the red food dye and in with the green. Surely coming to the Great British Bake Off soon.

5.  'Even the righteous need a little showbusiness'

Green nails, green earrings, green scarf... even green spectacles, I'm told. Atwood unveiled her The Testaments in the capital this week, before she embarks on a UK-wide tour. Let's hope she keeps us all updated on social media. May the Instagram open.