Read books and novels online free All Night At Mr Stanyhurst S (1963)

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All Night At Mr Stanyhurst S (1963)

It actually was James Agate's quote in the Ian Fleming's introduction, not James Agee's. That said, I was searching for Agee and was led to this by that misattribution (is that a word??) so thanks all the same.

Reviewer: 1iberal - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 28, 2009
Subject: Ian Fleming + James Agee both recommend
Ian Fleming had urged Cape, his own publisher, to reprint All Night at Mr Stanyhurst's, which he caused to be republished by Jonathan Cape in 1963.

Ian Fleming looked back on this pleasure in his 1963 introduction to the 1933 novel

described by James Agee as "the best long story or short novel since Conrad"

the tale of a corrupt eighteenth-century rake, mixed with a nautical adventure, centered on a shipwreck
- Peter Stothard

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Read books and novels online free Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland

The story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale is filled with allusions to Dodgson's friends. The tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.

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Read books and novels online free A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

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A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

by

MARK TWAIN

(Samuel L. Clemens)

PREFACE

The ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it is only pretended that inasmuch as they existed in the English and other civilizations of far later times, it is safe to consider that it is no libel upon the sixth century to suppose them to have been in practice in that day also. One is quite justified in inferring that whatever one of these laws or customs was lacking in that remote time, its place was competently filled by a worse one.

The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right of kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult. That the executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty character and extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable; that none but the Deity could select that head unerringly, was also manifest and indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that selection, then, was likewise manifest and indisputable; consequently, that He does make it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction. I mean, until the author of this book encountered the Pompadour, and Lady Castlemaine, and some other executive heads of that kind; these were found so difficult to work into the scheme, that it was judged better to take the other tack in this book (which must be issued this fall), and then go into training and settle the question in another book. It is, of course, a thing which ought to be settled, and I am not going to have anything particular to do next winter anyway.

MARK TWAIN

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

A WORD OF EXPLANATION

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company--for he did all the talking. We fell together, as modest people will, in the tail of the herd that was being shown through, and he at once began to say things which interested me. As he talked along, softly, pleasantly, flowingly, he seemed to drift away imperceptibly out of this world and time, and into some remote era and old forgotten country; and so he gradually wove such a spell about me that I seemed to move among the specters and shadows and dust and mold of a gray antiquity, holding speech with a relic of it! Exactly as I would speak of my nearest personal friends or enemies, or my most familiar neighbors, he spoke of Sir Bedivere, Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir Launcelot of the Lake, Sir Galahad, and all the other great names of the Table Round--and how old, old, unspeakably old and faded and dry and musty and ancient he came to look as he went on! Presently he turned to me and said, just as one might speak of the weather, or any other common matter--

"You know about transmigration of souls; do you know about transposition of epochs--and bodies?"

I said I had not heard of it. He was so little interested--just as when people speak of the weather--that he did not notice whether I made him any answer or not. There was half a moment of silence, immediately interrupted by the droning voice of the salaried cicerone:

"Ancient hauberk, date of the sixth century, time of King Arthur and the Round Table; said to have belonged to the knight Sir Sagramor le Desirous; observe the round hole through the chain-mail in the left breast; can't be accounted for; supposed to have been done with a bullet since invention of firearms--perhaps maliciously by Cromwell's soldiers."

My acquaintance smiled--not a modern smile, but one that must have gone out of general use many, many centuries ago--and muttered apparently to himself:

"Wit ye well, _I saw it done_." Then, after a pause, added: "I did it myself."

By the time I had recovered from the electric surprise of this remark, he was gone.

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Read books and novels online free A Clergyman's Daughter

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As the alarm clock on the chest of drawers exploded like a horrid
little bomb of bell metal, Dorothy, wrenched from the depths of
some complex, troubling dream, awoke with a start and lay on her
back looking into the darkness in extreme exhaustion.

The alarm clock continued its nagging, feminine clamour, which
would go on for five minutes or thereabouts if you did not stop it.
Dorothy was aching from head to foot, and an insidious and
contemptible self-pity, which usually seized upon her when it was
time to get up in the morning, caused her to bury her head under
the bedclothes and try to shut the hateful noise out of her ears.
She struggled against her fatigue, however, and, according to her
custom, exhorted herself sharply in the second person plural. Come
on, Dorothy, up you get! No snoozing, please! Proverbs vi, 9.
Then she remembered that if the noise went on any longer it would
wake her father, and with a hurried movement she bounded out of
bed, seized the clock from the chest of drawers, and turned off the
alarm. It was kept on the chest of drawers precisely in order that
she should have to get out of bed to silence it. Still in
darkness, she knelt down at her bedside and repeated the Lord's
Prayer, but rather distractedly, her feet being troubled by the
cold.

It was just half past five, and coldish for an August morning.
Dorothy (her name was Dorothy Hare, and she was the only child of
the Reverend Charles Hare, Rector of St Athelstan's, Knype Hill,
Suffolk) put on her aged flannelette dressing-gown and felt her way
downstairs. There was a chill morning smell of dust, damp plaster,
and the fried dabs from yesterday's supper, and from either side of
the passage on the second floor she could hear the antiphonal
snoring of her father and of Ellen, the maid of all work. With
care--for the kitchen table had a nasty trick of reaching out of
the darkness and banging you on the hip-bone--Dorothy felt her way
into the kitchen, lighted the candle on the mantelpiece, and, still
aching with fatigue, knelt down and raked the ashes out of the
range.

The kitchen fire was a 'beast' to light. The chimney was crooked
and therefore perpetually half choked, and the fire, before it
would light, expected to be dosed with a cupful of kerosene, like a
drunkard's morning nip of gin. Having set the kettle to boil for
her father's shaving-water, Dorothy went upstairs and turned on her
bath. Ellen was still snoring, with heavy youthful snores. She
was a good hard-working servant once she was awake, but she was one
of those girls whom the Devil and all his angels cannot get out of
bed before seven in the morning.

Dorothy filled the bath as slowly as possible--the splashing always
woke her father if she turned on the tap too fast--and stood for a
moment regarding the pale, unappetizing pool of water. Her body
had gone goose-flesh all over. She detested cold baths; it was for
that very reason that she made it a rule to take all her baths cold
from April to November. Putting a tentative hand into the water--
and it was horribly cold--she drove herself forward with her usual
exhortations. Come on, Dorothy! In you go! No funking, please!
Then she stepped resolutely into the bath, sat down and let the icy
girdle of water slide up her body and immerse her all except her
hair, which she had twisted up behind her head. The next moment
she came to the surface gasping and wriggling, and had no sooner
got her breath back than she remembered her 'memo list', which she
had brought down in her dressing-gown pocket and intended to read.
She reached out for it, and, leaning over the side of the bath,
waist deep in icy water, read through the 'memo list' by the light
of the candle on the chair.


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