The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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January 22, 2017

Martha and Victoria

      It was Sally, the pretty American, her old fellow-student, Martha was talking to — and all the more willingly because Sally never had, and didn't now, cast an eye at a painting when she could look at a hat.
      'Honey, yours — !' began Sally, before words failed her. (Her own general appearance was a masterpiece of throw-away elegance:  amber wild silk cut like a trench-coat, worn with fifty cents' worth of gilt beads. Of course her shoes has cost as many dollars, and the twist of velvet on her head considerably more, — Le maitre, even as he held himself ready to intervene, alerted a photographer. 'And didn't you ever get that frock I sent you,' wailed Sally, 'for just such an occasion as this? Mother Bunch, you're hopeless!'
      Martha, hearing her old studio nickname, smiled. (The photographer captured it:  Martha's smile, rare as Queen Victoria's, and as memorable.) 

from Martha, Eric and George, by Margery Sharp

I love it when the two books I am reading collide. :)


Karen K. said...

I love that too. I haven't read that Victoria biography but a couple of years ago I read and loved Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams. It's actually about Princess Charlotte which leads to how Victoria actually became Queen which was so unexpected. I thought it was fascinating. I'll have to look for the Baird biography.

Audrey said...

Hi, Karen,
That was one of the books that turned me into a Queen V. groupie! I think you'd like this new biography.

Anbolyn said...

It always seems like it's meant to be when that happens. I haven't read much about Queen Victoria but I am enjoying the new series on PBS. I can't wait to watch the second installment tonight.

Terra said...

Yes, when books I am reading collide I savor reading them even more. I would like to read both that you mention, and Becoming Queen Victoria too.

Lisa said...

I love Martha - I owe thanks to you and Jane for introducing her to me. I remember that line about Queen Victoria's smile, but I can't remember if I've ever seen that picture before!

Audrey said...

Lisa, the picture was in the new bio with a caption mentioning how rare it is; I also don't think I've ever seen it before!

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