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Old 06-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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Benson, E. F: Scarlet and Hyssop. v1. 17 Jun 2013

Edward Frederic Benson (24 July 1867 – 29 February 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer, known professionally as E.F. Benson. His friends called him Fred. Edward Frederic Benson was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury and member of a distinguished and eccentric family. After attending Marlborough and King's College, Cambridge where he studied classics and archaeology, he worked at the British School of Archaeology in Athens. One of our greatest humorists, he achieved great success at an early age with his first novel, Dodo (1893). He was a prolific author writing over a hundred books: serious novels, ghost stories, plays and biographies. But he is best remembered for his Lucia comedies written between 1920 and 1939 and other comic novels such as Paying Guests and Mrs Ames. He became mayor of Rye, the Sussex town that provided the model for his fictional Tilling, from 1934 to 1937.

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"Ah! my dear, we are lepers," said Lady Ardingly. "We are all wrong and bad, and we roll over each other in the gutter like these Arabs scrambling for backshish. We strive for one thing, which is wealth, and when we have got it we spend it on pleasure. You are not so, and the odd thing is that the pleasure we get does not please us. It is always something else we want. I sit and I say 'What news?' and when I am told I say 'What else?' and still 'What else?' and I am not satisfied. Younger folk than I do this, and they do that, and still, like me, they cry, 'What else? what else?' It means that we go after remedies for our ennui, for our leprosy, and there is no such remedy unless we become altogether different. Now, you are not so. Tell me your secret. Why are you different? Why can you sit still while we fidget? Why is it you can always keep clean in the middle of that muck-heap?"
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