Literary: January 2009 Archives

On Adolescents and other things


from The Reluctant Widow
Georgette Heyer

Elinor had not consorted with adolescents for six years without learning when it was useless to perservere in the attempt to convey to them ideas that were wholly alien to their minds and she now made no further effort to bring Nicky to an appreciation of her own sentiments. She agreed that it would have been a shocking thing to have missed spending a week in almost continuous alarm; and was rewarded by his telling her with impulsive warmth that he had known all along that she was a right one. He then did what lay in his power to undermine whatever fortitude was left to her by recounting with embellishments, John's theories on the murder of de Castres.

Georgette Heyer conveys an utterly delight sense of place and time. For those of us not really part of the regency world or its contemporary counterpart in the regency romance, some of the words, ideas, and everyday articles are a bit confusing and may require research. I had to spend a minute or two discovering the true nature of a pelisse and what exactly hartshorn was (though I had guessed well enough by looking at the word.) at to this clocked stockings and any number of other appurtenances of a bygone world and you might have the formula for incomprehensibility. But not in the deft hand of Ms. Heyer, whose writing is lucid and, at times, lovely. It really is a pleasure to spend some time with her.

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Further the Deponent Need Not Say


from The Reluctant Widow
Georgette Heyer

'Again you relieve my mind. I brought my vinaigrette with me, of course, and Crawley knows how to revive me, but I confess I should have been excessively loth to have slept under the same roof with a coffin. My sensibilities have always been extremely acute, and I dare say I should have suffered a spasm. But now, unless I should have take a chill on the drive, I do trust we have nothing to dread. It is not to be, I collect, a lengthy cortège?"

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So well known, it is nearly trite. And, of course, it is quite untrue--however, it is a nice reminder when we need help staying the course--when the choice is anger or despair, at least anger gives us the momentary energy to continue on.

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Literary category from January 2009.

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