One of the delights of reading Dunnett are those marvellous one-liners and short descriptions that perfectly capture the scene or character that she is writing about. Sometimes they make you laugh out loud, sometimes they give you that perfect visual image that helps cement the moment in your mind.
In the latest issue of Whispering Gallery, the magazine of the DDRA, I mentioned that I felt that one way to try to attract new readers might be to collect some of these little fragments of linguistic magic, and when trying to convert a potential reader to point them to them to whet their literary appetites. So that’s what I intend to do here on the Dunnett Blog, and I’d like your help in doing so.
Send me your favourite quotes, not just the well-known set pieces but those almost incidental ones that enlighten our view of a character or place or critical moment in that way that only she could. I’ll collect them together and publish them here and then archive them on the main site once we have a big enough collection.
Here’s one of my favourite short ones to start you off.
“Quarrelling with the Prince of Barrow was like fighting a curtain.”
Doesn’t that just provide the perfect visual counterpoint to Lymond’s attempts to talk round the singular Phelim O’Liam Roe?
While a slightly longer one gives Will Scott the essence of just how important and burned into Lymond’s psyche is the captive lady in the tower.
My brilliant devil, my imitation queen; my past, my future, my hope of heaven and my knowledge of hell … Margaret, Countess of Lennox.
I’m looking forward to hearing your favourites.