The Awkward Age (Penguin Classics)
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Nanda Brookenham is 'coming out' in London society. Thrust suddenly into the vicious, immoral circle that has gathered round her mother, she even finds herself in competition with Mrs Brookenham for the affection of the man she admires. Light and ironic in its touch, The Awkward Age nevertheless analyzes the English character with great subtlety.
The Awkward Age, which has been much praised for its natural dialogue and the delicacy of feeling it conveys, exemplifies Conrad's remark that James 'is never in deep gloom or in violent sunshine. But he feels deeply and vividly every delicate shade.'
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
ten weeks – isn’t it, Mitch? You don’t mind my saying that, I hope,’ he solicitously added. Mitchy had his back to him and, bending it a little, sat with head dropped and knees pressing his hands together. ‘I don’t mind any one’s saying anything.’ ‘Lord, are you already past that?’ Harold sociably laughed. ‘He used to vibrate to everything. My dear man, what is the matter?’ Mrs Brook demanded. ‘Does it all move too fast for you?’ ‘Mercy on us, what are you talking about? That’s what I want to
out, for you manage to keep Nanda from showing even more than you do me. Don’t you think your children are good enough, mummy dear? At any rate it’s as plain as possible that if you don’t keep us at home you must keep us in other places. One can’t live anywhere for nothing – it’s all bosh that a fellow saves by staying with people. I don’t know how it is for a lady, but a man practically, is let in –’ ‘Do you know you kill me, Harold?’ Mrs Brookenham woefully interposed. But it was with the same
live in the mixed English world. My daughter, at any rate, is just my daughter – thank Heaven, and one of a good English bunch; she’s not the unique niece of my dead Italian husband, nor doubtless either, in spite of her excellent birth, of a lineage, like Aggie’s, so very tremendous. I’ve my life to lead, and she’s a part of it. Sugar?’ She wound up on a still softer note as she handed the cup of tea. ‘Never! Well, with me,’ said the Duchess with spirit, ‘she would be all.’ ‘ “All” is soon
upstairs. They bring it up in a cup, all made and very weak, with a piece of bread-and-butter in the saucer. That’s because I’m so young. Tishy never lets me touch hers either; so we had to make up for lost time. That’s what mother said’ – she followed up her story, and her young distinctness had clearly something to do with a certain pale concentration in Mr Longdon’s face. ‘Mother isn’t ill, but she told me already yesterday she wouldn’t come. She said it’s really all for me. I’m sure I hope it
a queer life.’ Nanda seemed for an instant to wish to say that one might deny the queerness, but she said something else instead. ‘I suppose a man like you doesn’t quite feel that he is beholden: it’s awfully good of him – it’s doing a great deal for anybody – that he should come down at all; so that it would add immensely to his burden if anybody had to be remembered for it.’ ‘I don’t know what you mean by a man “like me”,’ Vanderbank returned. ‘I’m not any particular kind of a man.’ She had