Books 2010

Books 2009

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Friday, 27 July 2007


I usually have to stay in anonymous hotels when visiting London, so it was a great pleasure to stay with a friend I have known for so long - in your case books furnish not only a room or indeed a house but a life of thought and action. We wish you much joy of this florilegium.

Three splendid books indeed, and I do so agree with the prediction in your final sentence. Dark Puss is about to take the sleeper to the Heart of Scotland, where he hopes to see the flowers (including the Cornflowers) too. You may be pleased that his muddy paws will be absent from your weblog for a fortnight at least!

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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