Saturday, January 18, 2014

How perfectly extraordinary --


-- that Lord Peter Wimsey should drink Liebfraumilch. In 1928, in London, in Dorothy Sayers' The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. Here is his meal:
So he turned in to one of his numerous Clubs, and had a Sole Colbert very well cooked, with a bottle of Liebfraumilch; an Apple Charlotte and light savoury to follow, and black coffee and a rare old brandy to top up with -- a simple and satisfactory meal which left him in the best of tempers.
I've only begun the mystery of General Fentiman's death and his estranged sister's devilishly complex will, but already the novel is a mine of delicious quotes. Why does it seem that every third sentence in old books cries out to be a modern-day blog motto or Facebook status update? Maybe we're all just too clever and ironic by half. Anyway here are a few gems from another world.

" 'Didn't want to hang about the entrance. Too many imbeciles coming in and out. Exchanging silly anecdotes.' "

" 'I suppose she thinks if she can't be a success as a woman she'll be a half baked intellectual.' "

And, the best so far:

" 'Why a solemn national occasion should be an excuse for all these fools meeting and talking rot, I don't know.' "

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