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The Unlit Lamp (World Cultural Heritage Library)
The Unlit Lamp - World Cultural Heritage Library
Author: Radclyffe Hall
Radclyffee Hall's first novel,-The Unlit Lamp, is the story of Joan Ogden, a young girl who dreams of setting up a flat in London with her friend Elizabeth (a so-called Boston marriage) and studying to become a doctor, but feels trapped by her manipulative mother's emotional dependence on her. *** a selection from Chapte...  more »1 The dining-room at Leaside was also Colonel Ogden's study. It contained, in addition to the mahogany sideboard with ornamental brackets at the back, the three-tier dumb waiter and the dining-table with chairs en suite, a large roll-top desk much battered and ink-stained, and bleached by the suns of many Indian summers. There was also a leather arm-chair with a depression in the seat, a pipe-rack and some tins of tobacco. All of which gave one to understand that the presence of the master of the house brooded continually over the family meals and over the room itself in the intervals between. And lest this should be doubted, there was Colonel Ogden's photograph in uniform that hung over the fireplace; an enlargement showing the colonel seated in a tent at his writing-table, his native servant at his elbow. The colonel's face looked sternly into the camera, his pen was poised for the final word, authority personified. The smell of the colonel's pipes, past and present, hung in the air, and together with the general suggestion of food and newspapers, produced an odour that became the very spirit of the room. In after years the children had only to dose their eyes and think of their father to recapture the smell of the dining-room at Leaside. Colonel Ogden looked at his watch; it was nine o'clock, He pushed back his chair from the breakfast table, a signal for the family to have done with eating. He sank into his arm-chair with a sigh; he was fifty-five and somewhat stout. His small, twinkling eyes scanned the columns of The Times as if in search of something to pounce on. Presently he had it. 'Mary.' 'Yes, dear.' 'Have you seen this advertisement of the Army and Navy?' 'Which one, dear?' 'The provision department. Surely we arc paying more than this for bacon?' He extended the paper towards his wife; his hand shook a little, his face became very slightly suffused. Mrs. Ogden glanced at the paper; then she lied quickly. 'Oh, no, my love, ours is twopence cheaper.' 'Oh!' said Colonel Ogden. 'Kindly ring the bell.' Mrs. Ogden obeyed. She was a small woman, pale and pensive looking; her neat hair, well netted, was touched with grey, her soft brown eyes were large and appealing, but there were lines about her mouth that suggested something different, irritable lines that drew the corners of the lips down a little. The maid came in; Colonel Ogden smiled coldly. 'The grocer's book, please', he said. Mrs. Ogden quailed; it was unfortunately the one day of all the seven when the grocer's book would be in the house. 'What for, James?' she asked. Colonel Ogden caught the nervous tremor in her voice, and his smile deepened. He did not answer, and presently the servant returned book in hand. Colonel Ogden took it, and with the precision born of long practice turned up the required entry. 'Mary! Be good enough to examine this item.' She did so and was silent.
ISBN-13: 9781438798622
ISBN-10: 1438798628
Publication Date: 9/9/2009
Pages: 150
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Publisher: Intl Business Pubns USA
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
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