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The Price of Things   By: (1864-1943)

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I wrote this book in Paris in the winter of 1917 18 in the midst of bombs, and raids, and death. Everyone was keyed up to a strange pitch, and only primitive instincts seemed to stand out distinctly.

Life appeared brutal, and our very fashion of speaking, the words we used, the way we looked at things, was more realistic coarser than in times of peace, when civilization can re assert itself again. This is why the story shocks some readers. I quite understand that it might do so; but I deem it the duty of writers to make a faithful picture of each phase of the era they are living in, that posterity may be correctly informed about things, and get the atmosphere of epochs.

The story is, so to speak, rough hewn. But it shows the danger of breaking laws, and interfering with fate whether the laws be of God or of Man.

It is also a psychological study of the instincts of two women, which the strenuous times brought to the surface. "Amaryllis," with all her breeding and gentleness, reacting to nature's call in her fierce fidelity to the father of her child and "Harietta," becoming in herself the epitome of the age old prostitute.

I advise those who are rebuffed by plain words, and a ruthless analysis of the result of actions, not to read a single page.

[Signature: Elinor Glyn]



"If one consciously and deliberately desires happiness on this plane," said the Russian, "one must have sufficient strength of will to banish all thought. The moment that one begins to probe the meaning of things, one has opened Pandora's box and it may be many lives before one discovers hope lying at the bottom of it."

"What do you mean by thought? How can one not think?" Amaryllis Ardayre's large grey eyes opened in a puzzled way. She was on her honeymoon in Paris at a party at the Russian Embassy, and until now had accepted things and not speculated about them. She had lived in the country and was as good as gold.

She was accepting her honeymoon with her accustomed calm, although it was not causing her any of the thrills which Elsie Goldmore, her school friend, had assured her she should discover therein.

Honeymoons! Heavens! But perhaps it was because Sir John was dull. He looked dull, she thought, as he stood there talking to the Ambassador. A fine figure of an Englishman but yes dull. The Russian, on the contrary, was not dull. He was huge and ugly and rough hewn his eyes were yellowish green and slanted upwards and his face was frankly Calmuck. But you knew that you were talking to a personality to one who had probably a number of unknown possibilities about him tucked away somewhere.

John had none of these. One could be certain of exactly what he would do on any given occasion and it would always be his duty. The Russian was observing this charming English bride critically; she was such a perfect specimen of that estimable race well shaped, refined and healthy. Chock full of temperament too, he reflected when she should discover herself. Temperament and romance and even passion, and there were shrewdness and commonsense as well.

"An agreeable task for a man to undertake her education," and he wished that he had time.

Amaryllis Ardayre asked again:

"How can one not think? I am always thinking."

He smiled indulgently.

"Oh! no, you are not you only imagine that you are. You have questioned nothing you do right generally because you have a nice character and have been well brought up, not from any conscious determination to uplift the soul. Yes is it not so?"

She was startled.


"Do you ever ask yourself what things mean? What we are where we are going? What is the end of it all? No you are happy; you live from day to day and yet you cannot be a very young ego, your eyes are too wise you have had many incarnations. It is merely that in this one life the note of awakening has not yet been struck... Continue reading book >>

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