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BOOKS (FIRST LINES)
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[ Also see Books Books (Last Lines) Books (Quotes) Quotations ]

Hildegarde had always known that her mother was different from the others, but she had not known why.
      - Temple Bailey (Irene Temple Bailey),
        The Blue Window [1926] (ch. 1)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Sherwood Park is twelve miles from Washington. Starting as a somewhat pretentious suburb on the main line of the railroad, it was blessed with easy accessibility until encroaching trolleys swept the tide of settlement away from it, and left it high and dry--its train service, unable to compete with modern motor vehicles, increasingly inefficient.
      - Temple Bailey (Irene Temple Bailey),
        The Dim Lantern [1922] (ch. 1)

The lights shining through the rain on the smooth street made of it a golden river.
      - Temple Bailey (Irene Temple Bailey),
        The Tin Soldier [1918] (ch. 1)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

One day, about the middle of July 1838, one of the carriages, lately introduced to Paris cabstands, and known as Milords, was driving down the Rue de l'Universite, conveying a stout man of middle height in the uniform of a captain of the National Guard.
      - Honore de Balzac, Cousin Betty [1846] (pt. 1),
        (James Waring translation)

There are houses in certain provincial towns whose aspect inspires melancholy, akin to that called forth by sombre cloisters, dreary moorlands, or the desolation of ruins. Within these houses there is, perhaps, the silence of the cloister, the barrenness of moors, the skeleton of ruins; life and movement are so stagnant there that a stranger might think them uninhabited, were it not that he encounters suddenly the pale, cold glance of a motionless person, whose half-monastic face peers beyond the window-casing at the sound of an unaccustomed step.
      - Honore de Balzac, Eugenie Grandet [1833] (ch. I),
        (Katharine Prescott Wormeley translation)

Mme. Vauquer (nee de Conflans) is an elderly person, who for the past forty years has kept a lodging-house in the Rue Nueve-Sainte-Genevieve, in the district that lies between the Latin Quarter and the Faubourg Saint-Marcel. Her house (known in the neighborhood as the Maison Vauquer) receives men and women, old and young, and no word has ever been breathed against her respectable establishment; but, at the same time, it must be said that as a matter of fact no young woman has been under her roof for thirty years, and that if a young man stays there for any length of time it is a sure sign that his allowance must be allowance must be of the slenderest. In 1819, however, the time when this drama opens, there was an almost penniless young girl among Mme. Vauquer's boarders.
      - Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot [1834] (ch. I),
        (Ellen Marriage translation)

It was the day my grandmother exploded.
      - Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road

The peaceful stillness of an English summer after-noon brooded over the park and gardens at Overdene. A hush of moving sunlight and lengthening shadows lay upon the lawn, and a promise of refreshing coolness made the shade of the great cedar tree a place to be desired.
      - Florence L. Barclay, The Rosary [1909] (ch. 1)

As Mr. Horace Sewall cleared his bearded throat, pushed back his carved armchair, placed his damask napkin on the row of forks beside his Royal Crown Derby plate, picked up his champagne glass and rose to his feet, the eyes of Sally, his sixteen-year-old daughter, met those of her grandmother across the candlelit table with a little gleam of half-humorous, half-deprecatory sympathy.
      - Margaret Ayer Barnes, Within This Present [1933]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Little Jane Ward sat at her father's left hand at the family breakfast table, her sleek, brown pigtailed head bent discreetly over her plate. She was washing down great mouthfuls of bacon and eggs with gulps of too hot cocoa.
      - Margaret Ayer Barnes, Years of Grace [1930]

On the bump of green round which the brae twists, at the top of the brae, and within cry of T'nowhead Farm, still stands a one-storey house, whose whitewashed walls, streaked with the discoloration that rain leaves, look yellow then the snow comes.
      - Sir James Matthew Barrie,
        A Window in Thrums [1889] (ch. 1)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

All children, except one, grow up.
      - Sir James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan [1904]

The Nemesis of the Byron ill-luck had pursued him from birth, and yet on that day one would have thought it might have spared him. But everything had gone wrong.
      - E. Barrington (pseud. of Elizabeth Louisa Beck a/k/a Lily Adams Beck),
        Glorious Apollo [1925] (pt. 1, ch. 1)

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
      - Lyman Frank Baum,
        The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [1899]

The Hall Porter was a little white about the gills as he came out of No. 7 box. He went for his cap which he had left on the radiator.
      - Vicki Baum, Grand Hotel [1929]

Many men were in debt to the trader at Flambeau and many counted him as a friend.
      - Rex Beach, The Barrier [1908]

The train from Palermo was late. Already long, shadowy fingers were reaching down the valleys across which the railroad track meandered. Far to the left, out of an opalescent sea, rose the fairy-like Lipari Islands, and in the farthest distance Stromboli lifted its smoking cone above the horizon. On the landward side of the train, as it reeled and squealed along its tortuous course, were gray and gold Sicilian villages perched high against the hills or drowsing among fields of artichoke and sumac and prickly pear.
      - Rex Beach, The Net [1912] (ch. I)

The trail to Kalvik leads down from the northward mountains over the tundra which flanks the tide flats, then creeps out upon the salt ice of the river and across to the village. It boasts no travel in summer, but by winter an occasional toil-worn traveller may be seen issuing forth from the Great Country beyond, bound for the open water; while once in thirty days the mail-team whirls out of the forest to the south, pauses one night to leave word of the world, and then is swallowed up in the silent hills. Kalvik, to be sure, is not much of a place, being hidden away from the main-travelled routes to the interior and wholly unknown except to those interested in the fisheries.
      - Rex Beach, The Silver Horde [1909] (ch. I)

Glenister gazed out over the harbor, agleam with the lights of anchored ships, then up at the crenelated mountains, black against the sky. He drank the cool air burdened with its taints of the sea, while the blood of his boyhood leaped within him.
      - Rex Beach, The Spoilers [1906] (ch. I)

That old bell, presage of a train, had just sounded through Oxford station; and the undergraduates who were waiting there, gay figures in tweed or flannels, moved to the margin of the platform and gazed idly up the line.
      - Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson [1911]

Spring came late in the year 1890, so it came more violently, and the fullness of its burgeoning heightened the seasonal disturbance that made unquiet in the blood.
      - Henry Bellamann (pseudonym of Heinrich Hauer),
        Kings Row [1940]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

I first saw the light in the city of Boston in the year 1857.
      - Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward [1888]

In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
      - Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline

Those two girls, Constance and Sophia Baines, paid no need to the manifold interest of their situation, of which, indeed, they had never been conscious.
      - Arnold Bennett (Enoch Arnold Bennett),
        The Old Wives' Tale [1908] (ch. 1)

He meant to see Mary that morning, reflected Will Oldroyd as his father rode away up the frozen lane with a last shouted instruction, and he was not going to be put off by any nonsense about frames. Not that he meant to neglect the frames, of course, not likely! But he would see to them in his own time and in his own way; he knew his own mind and he intended to follow it.
      - Phyllis Bentley, Inheritance [1932]
         (book 1, ch. 1)


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