Rebecca West’s posthumous novel does what is believed only music can do, say several things at the same time. The title, This Real Night invites foreboding, yet most of the book is daylit, sunny, a tale that blends visual magic with intellectual grandeur. Four young girls and a boy who is grace incarnate (children in the first volume, The Fountain Overflows) grow up, guarded by one of Rebecca West’s most extraordinary characters, their noble, dishevelled, quixotically eccentric mother, and a small circle of very rum friends indeed in a tight-knit, domestic setting in a stable, forward-looking time. The early 1900s to the spring of 1916.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'