I've been reading Susan Aberth's Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy, and Art in my little bits of stray time and may have something to say about it later... I started with the alchemy chapter because my The Book of the Red King in part rises out of alchemical lore, and so I was eager to read that portion.
My love for the soil, nature, the gods was given to me by my mother's mother who was Irish from Westmeath, where there is a myth about men who lived underground inside the mountains, called the 'little people' who belong to the race of the 'Sidhe.' My grandmother used to tell me we were descendants of that ancient race that magically started to live underground when their land was taken by invaders with different political and religious ideas. They preferred to retire underground where they are dedicated to magic and alchemy, knowing how to change gold. The stories my grandmother told me were fixed in my mind and they gave me mental pictures that I would later sketch on paper (p. 12.)