Treasures of Time
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Treasures of Time is the twelfth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively, a spellbinding story of the dangers of digging up the dark secrets of the past. This edition features an introduction by Selina Hastings.
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.
Penelope Lively's Treasures of Time was published in 1979, and is an acutely observed study of marriage and manipulation. When the BBC want to make a documentary about acclaimed archaeologist Hugh Paxton, his widow Laura, daughter Kate and her fiancé Tom are a little nervous: digging up the past can also disturb the present . . .
is anxious. When the chasms yawn. All my life, she thought, I have been exasperated by my sister. And unendurably sorry for her. ‘That’s all right,’ said Tony. ‘You didn’t get too much of a roasting from Kate, I hope. You do get pissed rather easily, don’t you? Look, what I was phoning about is, I’m going down to Danehurst on Friday to have a look through these papers of Hugh Paxton’s – Laura said something about bringing you and Kate down, I gather Kate’s car’s in dock, is that right? Fine.
neighbour, the stout man, glancing covertly sideways at her, staring almost; he was very dark, the hand that lay on his knee sunburnt, the knee itself trousered in a style that Laura, also covertly inspecting, decided was definitely not English. Someone foreign. Ashley would have known quite a lot of foreigners, of course. She looked firmly ahead, to dismiss the sideways gaze (not that it wasn’t just a bit flattering), assuming a musically appreciative expression. The quartet ended. A further
to stumble across such familiar old landmarks of learning as the metaphysical poets, the causes of the French Revolution and Romance Languages. Still around, for the time being at any rate. Meanwhile, the problem is how to convince the Chairman of the History Department in the University of the West Midlands that he would do well to spend his disposable cash on Tom Rider rather than anyone else. Laura, told of this venture by Kate, is alleged to have asked where the West Midlands was.
be looking inside. ‘… not unfortunately restored and preserved like West Kennet. The entrance remains but the chamber had been largely destroyed by early barrow diggers and little is now left. If we look at this scale diagram of the interior of the barrow we shall get an idea of the lay-out.’ And cut again. ‘O.K.’ said Tony. ‘I know, I know, Mike. You can’t see a damn thing. Pack it in and get the camera back to the car before it starts coming down.’ The tilt of that cloud lid had
enjoying a flight of fancy as man of creativity and insight. Christ, what a gathering! No wonder the poor old sister looks a bit baffled over there in the wheel-chair. Better today. Quite a bit better. Less of that buzzing in the ears; limbs more in contact with oneself. Oneself – ah, whatever that may be – oneself more inclined to look around and sniff the air. And goodness knows there is enough to look around at today. Such a spread has not been seen at Danehurst for quite a while now – no