“Cain and Abel were not brothers, not twins. They were...two sides of the same person, good and evil warring against its own inclinations. The same struggle was borne out in every person, over and over, from the very most beginning of time, and you could only answer for yourself which brother would win.”
“At the time, age eighteen, having been brought up in a hair-trigger society where the ground rules were – if no physically violent touch was being laid upon you, and no outright verbal insults were being levelled at you, and no taunting looks in the vicinity either, then nothing was happening, so how could you be under attack from something that wasn’t there? At eighteen I had no proper understanding of the ways that constituted encroachment.”
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A satire of one of England's greatest portrait painters, Thomas Gainsborough.
“If you could read the secret history of your enemies, you should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostilities.”
“And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas and which people wore the uniforms?”
“People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.”
“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
“He was a friend to all things wild, and the wild things repaid him with their friendship.”
A collection of short stories of The Chronicles of St Mary's.