Quotes from The Shuttle, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"The perceptions she had brought with her filled her journey into Kent with delicious things, delicious recognition of beauties she had before known the existence of only through the reading of books, and the dwelling upon their charms as reproduced, more or less perfectly, on canvas. She saw roll by her, with the passing of the train, the loveliness of land and picturesqueness of living which she had saved for herself with epicurean intention for years."

"It is England we love, we Americans," she had said to her father. "What could be more natural? We belong to it—it belongs to us. I could never be convinced that the old tie of blood does not count. All nationalities have come to us since we became a nation, but most of us in the beginning came from England. We are touching about it, too. We trifle with France and labour with Germany, we sentimentalise over Italy and ecstacise over Spain—but England we love. How it moves us when we go to it, how we gush if we are simple and effusive, how we are stirred imaginatively if we are of the perceptive class. I have heard the commonest little half-educated woman say the prettiest, clumsy, emotional things about what she has seen there. A New England schoolma'am, who has made a Cook's tour, will almost have tears in her voice as she wanders on with her commonplaces about hawthorn hedges and thatched cottages and white or red farms. Why are we not unconsciously pathetic about German cottages and Italian villas? Because we have not, in centuries past, had the habit of being born in them. It is only an English cottage and an English lane, whether white with hawthorn blossoms or bare with winter, that wakes in us that little yearning, grovelling tenderness that is so sweet. It is only nature calling us home."

6 comments:

brilynne said...

hmm...good quotes! The one about England is especially true. I think we really can get "home" in our blood somehow and are able to recognize it even if we haven't been there before.

Maybe I should try The Shuttle again. I tried it a few years ago and absolutely could. not. stand. it.

Sherry said...

Thanks for these quotes. I read the second one aloud at breakfast to B and E. We went to England 4 1/2 years ago and we truly felt the connection of "home" - so today, this made us homesick. I'd never heard of this book before.

Erin said...

Oh, man. Love love love this.

Noel De Vries said...

Bria: The first hundred pages were preeety dry. I kept saying, this better be worth it. And it was, in a completely Victorian way.

WHY has everyone I know gone to England EXCEPT ME?!?

But that's why I love the first quote so much. Because I know in my bones I'm going someday... "loveliness of land and picturesqueness of living which she had saved for herself with epicurean intention for years."

:) Hooray for the future!

The Book Chook said...

Interesting to read books like this and realise again how writing styles have changed. Burnett would be condemned I think for long sentences and use of adverbs, today. Yet it is lyrical writing, to me, and certainly gives us many clues about the character.

Sarah M. said...

Yeah! I am so glad you're reading this! I forgot to mention that in my review -- the first few chapters were slow going, but if you push through them the story really blossoms and... sigh... I just loved it.

I, like you, am one the few who have never been to the UK. Some day.... I intend to get there!

Be sure to let me know what you think of the book once you finish it!