11 openings from 11 historical novels. It’s like name that tune. Only more fun.
(1) The play—for which Briony had designed the posters, programs, and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crepe paper—was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.
(2) A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate.
(3) I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a world I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.
(4) Lieutenant William Bush came on board H.M.S. Renown as she lay at anchor in the Hamoaze and reported himself to the officer of the watch, who was a tall and rather gangling individual with hollow cheeks and a melancholy cast of countenance, whose uniform looked as if it had been put on in the dark and not readjusted since.
(5) [The heroine] was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tartleton twins were.
(6) When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down. And some days it stops altogether. The sky, gray and lowering for much of the year, becomes an ocean of blue, so vast and brilliant you can’t help but stop what you’re doing—pinning wet sheets to the line maybe, or shucking a bushel of corn on the back steps—to stare up at it.
(7) The last time I saw Laurent Jammet, he was in Scott’s store with a dead wolf over his shoulder.
(8) He’s writing when they come for him. He’s sitting at his metal desk, bent over a yellow legal pad, talking to himself, and to her—as always, to her. So he doesn’t notice them standing at his door. Until they run their batons along the bars.
(9) In the beginning were the howlers. They always commenced their bellowing in the first hour of dawn, just as the hem of the sky began to whiten.
(10) I used to love this season. The wood stacked by the door, the tang of its sap still speaking of forest. The hay made, all golden in the low afternoon light. The rumble of apples tumbling into the cellar bins. Smells and sights and sounds that said this year would be all right: there’d be food and warmth for the babies by the time the snows came.
(11) The sun poked out briefly, evidence of a universe above them, of watchful things—planets and stars and vast galaxies of infinite knowledge—and just as suddenly it retreated behind the clouds. The doctor passed only two other autos during the fifteen-minute drive, saw but a lone pedestrian even though it was noon on Sunday, a time when people normally would be returning home from church, visiting with friends and family. The flu had been in Timber Falls for three weeks now, by the doctor’s best estimation, and nearly all traffic on the streets had vanished.