First Words

I was sidetracked this past week from my intended vacation reading by the George Washington biography that I rediscovered while I was home, but the plane ride home from San Diego gave me the opportunity to get into Bleak House, which I am thoroughly enjoying (again!)

Here’s how Dickens’ sets the scene of London in the opening lines from the book:

London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holbornhill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow flakes–gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun.

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