Posted by: vikingsinspace | March 28, 2010

VI.01.08. Read Mistress Wilding / Anthony Wilding

Date Accomplished: 2007

Mistress Wilding: The Writings of Rafael Sabatini Edition, vol. ii

My Sabatini Journal

“He is a poor thing, indeed, who cannot face the worst once that worst is shown to be irrevocable.” (11)

“… that cunning which so often is given to the stupid by way of compensation for the intelligence that has been witheld them.” (16)

“You may not love him, but you can’t ordain that he shall not love you.” (23)

“My own conception of respect … is not to bandy a lady’s name about a company of revellers.” (24)

“Nothing can so goad a man as an offensive truth.” (31)

“All time is love’s time, all places are love’s place … and of all time and places the present ever preferable to the wise – for life is uncertain and short at best.” (46)

“And is not all love of another founded upon the love of self?” (84)

“… it is the beast that drinks only when he thirsts.  And in that lies one of the main differences between beast and man.” (263)

“He was stunned by the question as the bird is stunned that flies headlong against a pane of glass.  He had crashed into an obstruction so transparent that he had not seen it.” (293)

Anthony Wilding aka Mistress Wilding

Mistress Wilding was, like most Sabatini books, a very entertaining read.  I would not say it was as good as some of his other works, but it still had the imaginative plot twists and intrigue one would expect from Sabatini.  The love story was, unfortunately, much the same, with the lady lover hating the noble and courageous, if somewhat roguish, protagonist from the start, but loving him at the end for being the only chivalrous and decent man left in the book.

I admit to having many false starts in trying to read this book.  At least two, maybe three times I started it, got to the beginning of the third chapter, then stopped.  I blame this more on the upheaval in my life at the time (at the first attempt, I had just moved overseas; I am now writing a year after that point) than the book itself.  However, most of Sabatini’s books require a bit of tenacity to really get into it.  Anyway, a good book.  Not one I would recommend to someone unfamiliar with Sabatini, but one I would suggest reading eventually.

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