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All a dream

The Paolinis and the van Beins went in the first gondola. Jessica, Bill, Rosemary and Michael were in the second, with the stooping, tattered figure of Harding at the oar. The two boats pushed away...

Bring back the Borgias!

Harding smiled, a grim and somehow impressive smile. Speaking almost for the first time, he said: ‘All Catholics are deceitful and treacherous and avaricious, but Catholic priests are the baneful, malignant fruit of that tortuous,...

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...

Second Sam Youd novel now available

Following the publication earlier this year of The Winter Swan, the first published novel by Sam Youd (who would later become better known as John Christopher, author of such classics as The Death of Grass...