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The Old Maids' Club

Israel Zangwill

Book Overview: 

Mathematics vs. poetry: Brainy and beautiful 17-year-old Lillie, determined to never marry, begins an Old Maids' Club, while patient young Lord Silverdale advises, observes, and writes appropriate poetry. Candidates for membership must be young, beautiful (and pledged to remain so), and have rejected at least one offer of marriage. The often humorous stories these young women share make up the bulk of the tale.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I tried to construct his life from his periods of song, I watched the lights in his window, my whole life circled round him. It was only when I grew pale and feverish and was forced by the doctors and my guardian to go yachting that my fancies gradually detached themselves from my blue-eyed hero. The sea-salt freshened my thoughts, I became a healthy-minded girl again, carolling joyously in my cabin and taking pleasure in listening to my own voice. I threw my novels overboard (metaphorically, that is) and set the Hon. Miss Primpole chatting instead, when the seascape palled upon me. She had a great fund of strictly respectable memories. Most people's recollections are of no use to anybody but the owner, but hers afforded entertainment for both of us. By the time I was back in London the Voice was no longer part even of my dreams, though it seemed to belong to them. But for accident it might have remained forever "a voice and nothing more." The accident happened at a m. . . Read More