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

A night journey is essentially a thing of possibilities.
      - Katherine Cecil Thurston (nee Madden), Max [1910]
         (ch. 1)

An eight-mile drive over rain-washed Irish roads in the quick-falling dusk of autumn is an experience trying to the patience, even to the temper, of the average Saxon.
      - Katherine Cecil Thurston (nee Madden),
        The Gambler [1905] (ch. 1)

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
      - J.R.R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien),
        The Hobbit [1937]

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
      - Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Tolstoi),
        Anna Karenina [1877]

In the town of Vladímir lived a young merchant named Ivan Dmitritch Aksyonof. He had two shops and a house of his own.
      - Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Tolstoi),
        Twenty-Three Tales [1905]
         (pt. 1, Tales for Children, God See the Truth, but Waits)

"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist--I really believe he is Antichrist--I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave,' as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you--sit down and tell me all the news."
      - Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Tolstoi),
        War and Peace [1863] (ch. 1)

The clock on Trinity Church pointed to half-past four. Rufus Kayne glanced up from the letter at which he was scowling, observed the lateness of the hour and pressed a pearl button upon the desk beside him. He had not noticed the swift fading of the November afternoon, for he worked in an artificial glare. The light which beats upon the president of a trust company rivals that which in past days was said to beat upon a throne.
      - Arthur Cheney Train,
        His Children's Children [1923] (ch. 1)

In the latter days of July in the year 185-, a most important question was for ten days hourly asked in the cathedral city of Barchester, and answered every hour in various ways--Who was to be the new Bishop?
      - Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers [1857]

Before the reader is introduced to the modest country medical practitioner who is to be the chief personage of the following tale, it will be well that he should be made acquainted with some particulars as to the locality in which, and the neighbours among whom, our doctor followed his profession.
      - Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne [1858]

When young Mark Robarts was leaving college, his father might well declare that all men began to say all good things to him, and to extol his fortune in that he had a son blessed with so excellent a disposition.
      - Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage [1861]

It is not true that a rose by any other name will smell as sweet. Were it true, I should call this story "The Great Orley Farm Case." But who would ask for the ninth number of a serial work burthened with so very uncouth an appellation? Thence, and therefore,--Orley Farm.
      - Anthony Trollope, Orley Farm [1861]

It was admitted by all her friends, and also by her enemies--who were in truth the more numerous and active body of the two--that Lizzie Greystock had done very well with herself.
      - Anthony Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds [1872]

"I can never bring myself to believe it, John," said Mary Walker, the pretty daughter of Mr. George Walker, attorney, of Silverbridge.
      - Anthony Trollope,
        The Last Chronicle of Barset [1867]

Of course there was a Great House at Allington. How otherwise should there have been a Small House?
      - Anthony Trollope,
        The Small House at Allington [1864]

The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of _____; let us call it Barchester. Were we to name Wells or Salisbury, Exeter, Hereford, or Gloucester, it might be presumed that something personal was intended; and as this tale will refer mainly to the cathedral dignitaries of the of the town in question, we are anxious that no personality may be suspected.
      - Anthony Trollope, The Warden [1855]

He wished the phone would stop ringing.
      - Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun [1939]

A bright spring day was fading into evening. High overhead in the clear heavens small rosy clouds seemed hardly to move across the sky but to be sinking into its depths of blue.
      - Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev,
        A House of Gentlefolk [1859] (ch. 1),
        (Constance Garrett translation)

Anyone who has crossed from the district of Bolkhov into that of Zhizdra will probably have been struck by the sharp difference between the natives of the provinces of Orel and Kaluga.
      - Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev,
        A Sportsman's Notebook [1852],
        (Charles and Natasha Hepburn 1950 translation), also titled Russian Life in the Interior and Annals of a Sportsman

"Well, Piotr, not in sight yet?" was the question asked on May the 20th, 1859, by a gentleman of a little over forty, in a dusty coat and checked trousers, who came out without his hat on to the low steps of the posting station at S-----. He was addressing his servant, a chubby young fellow, with whitish down on his chin, and little, lack-lustre eyes.
      - Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev,
        Fathers and Sons [1862] (ch. 1),
        (Constance Garrett translation), (also titled Fathers and Children)

On 10th August 1862, at four o'clock in the afternoon a number of people were crowding in front of the famous Conversation at Baden-Baden.
      - Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Smoke [1867] (ch. 1)

At one o'clock on a spring day of 1868, in Petersburg, a man of twenty-seven, carelessly and shabbily dressed, was mounting the back stairs of a five-storied house in Officers' Street. Tramping heavily with his over-shoes trodden down at heel, and slowly rolling his bulky, ungainly person as he moved, this man at last reached the very top of the stairs. He stopped before a half-open door, hanging off its hinges, and without ringing the bell, merely giving a noisy sigh, he swung into a small, dark ante-room.
      - Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Virgin Soil [1877]
         (ch. 1)

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company--for he did all the talking.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court [1889]

The ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court [1889]
         (preface)

This is the year 1492. I am eighty-two years of age. The things I am going to tell you are things which I saw myself as a child and as a youth.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by The Sieur Louis de Conte [1896]

The scene of this chronicle is the town of Dawson's Landing, on the Missouri side of the Mississippi, half a day's journey, per steamboat, below St. Louis.
  In 1830 it was a snug little collection of modest one- and two-story frame dwellings whose whitewashed exteriors were almost concealed from sight by climbing tangles of rose-vines, honeysuckles and morning-glories.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        Pudd'nhead Wilson [1894]


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