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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory: Sneaky Peeky Sunday

I am currently reading The Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory and here's the page I am on now....


Summer 1628

The message came in the middle of June, one of the best months of the year for a gardener. John had started his day's work in the rose garden, dead-heading the blowsy blooms and tossing the petals into a basket for the still room. They would be dried and used in pomanders, or for scattering in the linen cupboards to scent the duke's sheets. Or they might be claimed by the cooks and candied to decorate the duke's sweetmeats. Everything in the garden, from drowsily humming bees to falling rosy pale petals, was the duke's and grew for his pleasure. Except he was not here to see them.

 At midday John went around to the front of the house to see the young limes, planted in the long, gently curving double avenue. He had a thought that they might grow better-shaped if their lower branches were pruned, and he had a small axe and a saw for the purpose, and a lad coming behind with a ladder. But before he had done more than whistle to the lad to set the ladder before the first tree, he heard hoofbeats.

 John turned, raised his hands to shield his eyes, and saw, like a dream, like a long-awaited vision, the single rider still a mile off, his lathered horse going from grey to black as it passed from brilliant sunlight into deep green shadow down the drive. John stepped out from the shade of the trees on to the broad sunny road, waiting in the hot light for the messenger, knowing that it would be his summons, knowing that he must obey. He felt for a moment that it was Death himself, with his scythe over his shoulder, riding between the trees.....'

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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