Sunday 16 July 2017

The Most Delicious Retreat

After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive.
David Copperfield, ch. 3
All in all my parents were a haven to each other, finding in Prince of Wales Drive, and in the largely wordless company of Miss Lawlor, a peace that neither of them had ever found at home with their contentious parents.
A Family Romance, ch. 1

One wouldn't want to stretch a comparison too far, but as I reread David Copperfield and A Family Romance, I really am struck by the similarities. An old ship that's now a house, on the strand at Yarmouth, and a mansion flat in Battersea ('You live in the middle of nowhere, you know,' complains Dolly) - what's the difference?

I am hospitably received by Mr Peggotty.


  1. The extract from David Copperfield made me think of The Wind in the Willows, specifically Badger's house in the Wild Wood, which Ratty and Mole are so happy to find after being lost and frightened.

  2. Many thanks for your comment. I find great consolation in such scenes. When reading Dickens in my youth I was enjoined to ignore and even scorn his sentimental scenes and concentrate on the comedy. I think we've got beyond such a limited approach by now.


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