Sunday, 25 August 2013

Unsuitable reading

" 'Reading, were you?'   Rupert picked up the book which lay on the little table by the fire.  It turned out to be the poems of Tennyson, bound in green morocco.  Could she really have been reading that? he wondered,  looking for the novel stuffed behind a cushion.

'Yes, but I was just going to make some coffee.  Would you like some?' said Ianthe.

How convenient women were, Rupert thought, accepting her offer, the way they were always 'just going' to make coffee or tea or perhaps had just  roasted a joint in the oven or made a cheese soufflé.

'I didn't think people read Tennyson nowadays,' he said, 'but then of course you aren't just "people". '

Ianthe flushed and busied herself with the coffee tray. She had not exactly been reading Tennyson but had remembered John quoting one of his poems during the first days of their acquaintance.
     
      Now lies my heart all Danae to the stars
      And all my heart lies open unto thee ...

She was ashamed to think that Rupert might have discovered her looking it up."

An Unsuitable Attachment   Barbara Pym






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