Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Turn of the Screw, the Turn of the Pen

Seated at my own table in clear noonday light I saw a person whom, without my previous experience, I should have taken at the first blush for some housemaid who might have stayed at home to look after the place and who, availing herself a rare relief from observation and of the schoolroom table and my pens, ink, and paper, had applied herself to the considerable effort of a letter to her sweetheart.

Dark as midnight in her dark dress, her haggard beauty and her unutterable woe, she had looked at me long enough to appear to say that her right to sit at my table was as good as hers.

Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, first published 1898, this edition J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd: London, Everyman's Library, 1988.

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