“Exactly what befell the President of the United States has never been fully understood.” Jethro K. Lieberman, Everything is Jake.

“New York’s Grand Opera-house was in the midst of a triumphant four-week run of performances by Edwin Booth, the greatest Hamlet of his generation, that Saturday in 1879 when twenty-six-year-old William R. Davis Jr. and his companion approached the huge doors of the heavily marbled theater.” Peter S. Canellos, The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero.

“A fourteen-year-old girl sits cross-legged on the floor of a circular vault” Anthony Doer, Cloud Cuckoo Land.

 “When you reach your fifties, it gets easier to notice the big ways in which the world has or hasn’t changed since you were young, both the look and feel of things and people’s understanding of how society works.” Kurt Andersen, Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America, A Recent History.

“Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.” Matt Haig, The Midnight Library.

“Insecurity combined with arrogance is good DNA for a comedian.” David Steinberg, Inside Comedy: The Soul, Wit, and Bite of Comedy and Comedians of the Last Five Decades.

“Many times since the Earth was young, the place had lain under the sea.” Edward Rutherford, London.

“Just as the first rays of dawn swept the eastern wall of the small castle, a detachment of soldiers landed on the beach below.” John Prevas, Hannibal’s Oath: The Life and Wars of Rome’s Greatest Enemy.

“Captain Kidd laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment.” Paulette Jiles, News of the World.

“In October 1846 the poet William Cullen Bryant visited the Delaware Water Gap, the spot where the Delaware River cuts through the Kittatinny (or Blue) Mountains.” Lawrence Squeri, Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania’s Vacationland.

“Major Picquart to see the Minister of War. . . .” Robert Harris, An Officer and a Spy.

“My father had a little joke that made light of our legacy as a family that had once owned slaves.” Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family.

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