Thursday Quotables: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
(published 1971)

I’ve been meaning to read more Elizabeth Taylor novels ever since I read her earliest book, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, several years ago.

No, not that Elizabeth Taylor — Elizabeth Taylor, the English novelist who was born in 1912 and died in 1975. And just to make sure we’re all really on the same page, I’m including a picture.

In Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, an elderly woman moves to a residential hotel to live out the rest of her life. Here’s a description of Mrs Palfrey:

She was a tall woman with big bones and a noble face, dark eyebrows and a neatly folded jowl. She would have made a distinguished-looking man and, sometimes, wearing evening dress, looked like some famous general in drag.

As Mrs Palfrey surveys her new room at the hotel:

When the porter had put down her suitcases and gone, she thought that prisoners must feel as she did now, the first time they are left in their cell, first turning to the window, then facing about to stare at the closed door: after that, counting the paces from wall to wall. She envisaged this briskly.

I’ve only read the first chapter, but so far, I’m very much enjoying the writing and get the sense that this will be a very fun read.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Quotables: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

  1. Best quote I’ve read recently was in Clare North’s The Sudden Appearance of Hope:

    “It’s just money,” he replied. “It’s just paper.”
    “It’s time,” I said, sharper than I’d meant. “It’s the means to purchase time. It’s the cost of a new bed in a hospital, a solar panel on a roof; it’s a year’s salary for a tailor in Dhaka, it’s the price of a fishing boat, the cost of an education, it’s not money. It’s what it could have been.”

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