Category: Winter Swan

A wonderful shot

Half-way up, the wide stairway turned back on itself, dividing to left and right. They heard feet clattering down the left-hand stair and he appeared suddenly, running down towards them. Michael noticed a clear, rosy...

All the graces

Jessica came running down the wide staircase to meet them as the Italian butler took Michael’s hat and gloves. She grasped Rosemary’s hands eagerly. ‘The honeymooners!’ she said. ‘How sweet you both look. A radiance...

To be Venetian

Rosemary said: ‘I believe you will be glad to be back in Hampshire.’ He smiled at her, relieved that she should imagine his thoughts so far from where they were. He said: ‘I shan’t be...

No life of their own

Rosemary stirred, moving against him on the narrow seat. She said: ‘Your friends – the Danvers, all of them … They don’t really like me. They put up with me because of you. But that’s...

Could we ever be happier?

Round the bend the Grand Canal narrowed towards the Rialto Bridge. As they drew near it the water was turning to gold until they saw, framed in the narrow arch of the bridge, the whole...

Do you remember?

He drank the champagne and sat down. The others were talking and laughing. Ignoring them, he twisted the champagne glass in his fingers, trying to balance it at awkward angles, spinning it round between his...

In the Library

He heard voices calling for him and crouched down over the table, his arms falling across his books. For a while he sat motionless, active only in his hate for the importunate voices. He heard...

troopship mediterranean harbour WW2 cricket

Over the vanished land

Two days after they left Gibraltar, land appeared on the port side. Michael went on deck with the others, to watch the mist open out into brown hills, flecked with small, incredibly white villages. During...

blake mortal fire proletariat hell

The divine fire within me

They went out into the garden, where a figure was already bending over Roger, helping him to his feet. He had apparently fallen against a sheet of glass, propped beside a box. The figure –...

moonlit Gerard Manley Hopkins

Do you ever read poetry?

The music, starting up again in the room behind them, had a faintly wistful note even as the trumpets brayed, through its dissipation into the cold night air. Beside him Rosemary shivered. He put a...