two to love

It was hard to say when exactly winter arrived. The decline was gradual, like that of a person into old age, inconspicuous from day to day until the season became an established relentless reality. First came a dip in evening temperatures, then days of continuous rain, confused gusts of Atlantic wind, dampness, the fall of leaves and the changing of the clocks – though there were still occasional moments of reprieve, mornings when one could leave the house without a coat and the sky was cloudles and bright. But they were like false signs of recovery in a patient upon whom death has passed its sentence. By December, the new season was entrenched and the city was covered almost every day by an ominous steely-grey sky, like one in a painting by Mantegna or Veronese, the perfect backdrop to the crucifixtion of Christ or to a day beneath the bedclothes.

– The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton

She also posed in attitudes, holding things. Pre-Raphaelite, she combed out her long, black hair to stream straight down from a centre parting and thoughtfully regarded herself as she held a tiger-lily from the garden under her chin, her knees pressed close together. A la Toulouse-Lautrec, she dragged her hair sluttishly across her face and sat down on a chair with her legs apart and a bowl of water and a towel at her feet…

– The Magic Toyshop, Angela Carter

I don’t fall in love easily, but when I do, I fall hard. Seek these two out.

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