Bookish selfie…

A snapshot of my reading week in quotes…

….Educated for the sole purpose of forming a brilliant establishment, of catching the eye, and captivating the senses, the cultivation of her mind, or the correction of her temper, had formed no part of the system by which that aim was to be accomplished. Under the auspices of a fashionable mother, and an obsequious governess, the froward petulance of childhood, fostered and strengthened by indulgence and submission, had gradually ripened into that selfishness and caprice which now, in youth, formed the prominent features of her character. The earl was too much engrossed by affairs of importance, to pay much attention to anything so perfectly insignificant as the mind of his daughter. Her person he had predetermined should be entirely at his disposal, and he therefore contemplated with delight the uncommon beauty which already distinguished it; not with the fond partiality of parental love, but with the heartless satisfaction of a crafty politician.

* * * * * * * * *

…Mrs Gessler went to work. She pinned Mildred’s dress up, so it was a sort of sash around her hips, with a foot of white slip showing. Then she put on the galoshes, over the gold shoes. Then she put on the evening coat, and pulled the trench coat over it. Then she found a kerchief, and bound it tightly around Mildred’s head. Mildred, suddenly transformed into something that looked like Topsy, sweetly said goodbye to them all. Then she went to the kitchen door, reached out into the wet, and pulled open the car door. Then she hopped in. Then she started the motor. Then she started the wiper. Then she tucked the robe around her. Then, waving gaily to the three anxious faces at the door, she started the car, and went backing down to the street.

(Then FF screamed. Then she gnashed her teeth a bit. Then she threw her Kindle at the wall. Then she vented on Twitter. Then she had some medicinal chocolate. Then she felt much better.)

* * * * * * * * *

….“The truth is, Mrs Forrester, that Mr Lester made a provision for you in his will.”
….“For me?”
….“But why?” asks Clifford. “Who was this Mr Lester to my wife?”
….He emphasizes the last two words as if establishing ownership. Eve feels a pinprick of irritation, though why that should be so she does not know. When they were first married, nearly two years before, she used to invent excuses to drop the phrase “my husband” into conversation, and thrill at hearing Clifford describe her as his wife. It occurs to her now that she hasn’t heard him say it in quite a long time.

* * * * * * * * *

….I have said that the cage had a top as well as a front, and this top was left standing when the front was wound through the slot in the wall. It consisted of bars at a few inches’ interval, with stout wire netting between, and it rested upon a strong stanchion at each end. It stood now as a great barred canopy over the crouching figure in the corner. The space between this iron shelf and the roof may have been from two or three feet. If I could only get up there, squeezed in between bars and ceiling, I should have only one vulnerable side. I should be safe from below, from behind, and from each side. Only on the open face of it could I be attacked. There, it is true, I had no protection whatever; but at least, I should be out of the brute’s path when he began to pace about his den. He would have to come out of his way to reach me. It was now or never, for if once the light were out it would be impossible. With a gulp in my throat I sprang up, seized the iron edge of the top, and swung myself panting on to it. I writhed in face downwards, and found myself looking straight into the terrible eyes and yawning jaws of the cat. Its fetid breath came up into my face like the steam from some foul pot.

(From The Brazilian Cat. It amuses me that the cat in question is called Tommy, as is my own sweet little boy-cat. Must say, temperament-wise, he sounds more like my girl Tuppence though… 😉 )

* * * * * * * * *

So…are you tempted?

39 thoughts on “Bookish selfie…

  1. The earl’s daughter sounds like a proper little madam, doesn’t she? Mind you, the earl himself doesn’t come across much better. Needless to say, I am intrigued… What on earth is Mildred thinking, going out in that get-up? I must be in a mood today as I don’t like the sound of her either. Is there any of that medicinal chocolate left? 😉 Good excerpt from Fatal Inheritance, I look forward to the review of this one. ACD is triumphant, here! I rather think Tuppence might be quite pleased with your comparison… 😀

    • Yes, they were English, of course. The little madam is now in Scotland with her husband and naturally they’re all much nicer… 😉 I had to restock with medicinal chocolate after several days spent with the tedious Mildred and her awful daughter! I kept hoping someone would bump one or other or both of them off. I would have… Fatal Inheritance – present tense – pah! (I mentioned I was grumpy today, didn’t I? 😉 ) Thank goodness for ACD! The man’s a life-saver! Tuppence thinks the Brazilian cat is a bit of a wuss…

    • Hahaha – I did a Kindle search to see how often he used the word ‘then’ and it came back as too many to count – over 500 was the nearest estimate it could give… 😉 Thank goodness for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

  2. 😆 I love the mental images of your reaction to Mildred Pierce, FictionFan! Can’t wait, just on that score, for your review. And Fatal Inheritance is written in the present tense. Yes, you’re having quite the week, aren’t you… Glad you’re also reading the Conan Doyle. I’ve not read enough of his non-Holmes work.

    • Hahaha – I did become somewhat obsessed by how often he used the word ‘then’ but the book had a few redeeming features fortunately… 😉 Yes! I know! Present tense! Great!! 😡 Thank goodness for ACD – the man’s a life-saver!! 😇

  3. “Fetid breath…like steam from a pot. ” You don’t often hear such vivid description in this day of ever present visual aides. Also i love the first book, with its “anything as perfectly insignificant as his daughter’s mind. ” Was that written in the 1800s or is it a modern recreation of that time? Definitely tempted. And the “then…then…then… “got to me, too! 😊. Im guessing, not your favorite read of the week!

    • I love the way Conan Doyle and others from that era write so descriptively – such great vocabularies they had and no fear of using them! 😀 The first one was written in 1818 – apparently a best-seller in its day but now considered a “forgotten” Scottish classic. A new edition has come out for the 200th anniversary to try to revive it in the public mind. Haha – I admit all those ‘thens’ drove me crazy… a strange old week all round… 😉

  4. And I felt so much better after your cathartic venting too 😊 I’ll be interested to read more context for each of these quotes – except maybe I’ve had enough thens….

    • Hahaha – sometimes a girl’s just got to get it out of her system… 😉 They weren’t terribly quotable this week, I felt, but a couple of good reads in there…

  5. No to Mildred Pierce! Maybe no to Fatal Inheritance – despite the present tense and indifferent to the others. Books not appealing to me? I think the sun is turning my brain to mush … too hot to read for long, attention span broken …

    • Hahaha – I’m feeling bad about poor Mildred now, but boy, did that man love his ‘thens’!! Fatal Inheritance was pretty good though as always the present tense annoyed me. But this week’s winner is definitely the Conan Doyle stories… to be read while eating an ice-lolly…

    • Hahaha – I became utterly obsessed by how often he used the word ‘then’ – so many my Kindle couldn’t even count them! So it seemed only fair to spread my misery around… 😉

  6. Ha ha! I had to chuckle at your post-script to Mildred Pierce! I’m not tempted by your choices this post, thank goodness, because you already got me once this week… and I’ve abandoned all reason and have added like 10 books to my Goodreads TBR in the last two days! I’ve got to get a grip on myself!

  7. These all tempt me, but that Mildred Pierce quote is awful! Then its always been a book I meant to read. Then I thought, if its all like that I won’t bother. Then, I think I’ll wait for your final verdict 😀

    The opening quote is intriguing but that first sentence is an incredibly long one! A few full stops would be welcome 😉

    • If the thens bothered you, then you probably shouldn’t read it! I admit, I picked the worst quote, but I’ve never seen anyone use as many thens! His editor must have been on holiday, then…

      Ah, I love that kind of sentence! Bring back the comma, that’s what I say! 😉

    • She’s off to dump her boyfriend – seems an awful lot of effort just for that! Has she never heard of texting, then??? 😉 Yeah, the tense really got to me in Fatal Inheritance, which was a pity because otherwise I enjoyed it. Yes, I shall be disappearing shortly to concentrate on the shorts… I mean, the skills… of my heroes!

  8. HAHA ‘Then FF screamed. Then she gnashed her teeth a bit. Then she threw her Kindle at the wall. Then she vented on Twitter. Then she had some medicinal chocolate. Then she felt much better.’ No wonder – what is with all those then’s?!

    • Haha – it began to drive me mad after a bit. That was probably the worst paragraph but he used ‘then’ more than any other writer I’ve ever come across… grrrr!!!

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