Thursday, 14 June 2018

Quote, unquote

Here are a few extracts from books I have read recently.  I keep on thinking how pleased I am to have my sight back.  The time spent unable to read and see wildlife was horrific.  Despite my being reasonably sure that laser treatment would cure it I found life so boring and frustrating.  I am so grateful to all those who sent me kind thoughts and prayers during that difficult time.

Anthony Berkeley  - “The Poisoned Chocolates Case”  (1929)
“He was openly devoted to his wife and did not care who knew it, while she too,  if a trifle less obviously, was equally said to wear her heart on her sleeve.  To make no bones about it, the Bendixes had apparently succeeded in achieving that eighth wonder of the modern world, a happy marriage.”
“Joan Bendix was not so serious-minded as not to have a healthy feminine interest in good chocolates.”

Punch Magazine, 1893
(Sarcastically attacking explorers like Nellie Bly, Isabella Bird, and Mary Kingsley Amis.)
“A lady, an explorer? A traveller in skirts?
The notion’s just a trifle too seraphic;
Let them stay home and mind the babies, or hem our ragged shirts
But they mustn’t, can’t, and shan’t be geographic.”

Arthur Conan Doyle – The Adventure of the Second Stain  (1904)
“And yet the motives of women are so inscrutable…  How can you build on such a quicksand?  Their most trivial action may mean volumes, or their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin or a curling tongs.”

R Austin Freeman – The Aluminium Dagger (1909) reprinted in “Miraculous Mysteries”, ed. Martin Edwards
“The scared rite of the ‘tub’ had been duly performed. And the freshly dried person of the present narrator was about to be insinuated into the first installment of clothing, when a hurried step was heard upon the stair…”

 Draft of a talk by Dorothy L Sayers (first published 1978)
“But when all is said, it is by the writing that every work of literature must in the long run stand or fall, and Trent’s Last Case is supremely well written without ever straying too far from the plot or getting out of key with the general tone of the book; the style ranges from a vividly coloured rhetoric to a delicate and ironical literary fancy.  Now touching on the greater issues of human life, now breaking into a ripple of comment on arts and letters, running into little sidestreams of wit and humour, or spreading into crystal pools of beauty and tender feeling, Trent’s Last Case welled up in the desiccated desert of mystery fiction like a spring of living water.  No other writer had ever handled that kind of theme with so light and sure a hand.”

E C Bentley – “Trent’s Last Case”   (1913)
“The great thing about a hotel sitting-room is that its beauty does not distract the mind from work.  It is no place for the may-fly pleasures of a mind at ease.  Have you ever been in this room before, Cupples?  I have, hundreds of times.  It has pursued m all over England for years.  I should feel lost without it if, in some fantastic, far-off hotel they were to give me some other sitting-room.  Look at this table-cover; there is the ink I spilt on it when I had this room in Halifax.  I burnt that hole in the carpet when I had it in Ipswich.  But I see they have mended the glass over the picture of ‘Silent Sympathy’ which I threw a book at in Banbury.  I do all my best work here.”

Susan Barker – “Incarnations”  (2015)
“She has a personality like fingers on a chalkboard., setting his nerves on edge.”


  1. As an amateur photographer I always fear diminished sight, even slightly. I am so glad that your back to enjoying this beautiful world and sharing your enjoyment with us.

  2. Oh to have written something quotable.

  3. My heart is so full, thinking about your being able to read again! Wonderful works you are reading, too.

  4. Once again, I am so glad that your treatment/OP worked out! Mine is a bit static at the moment... no further improvements to speak of, but I am able and allowed to read and work, which is of course very good.
    I, too, have a healthy feminine interest in good chocolates!

  5. So happy that your sight is now restored!
    "So many books, so little time". :-)

  6. I am glad that your sight is restored. I had not realised quite what the problem was, so I am sorry that I did not send good wishes at the time. It is wonderful that you now have the chance to enjoy certain lines of books, or certain turns of speech.... it is a pleasure I have too.


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