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Synopsis: Excerpt from The Elstones: A Novel
The autumn night was very still, following upon a week of wild and unchained equinox. Southwesterly gales of incredible fury had whipped the sea to a foaming, yeasty froth, of which discolored and almost solid fragments had rioted through the streets of the tormented coast towns. Many seasoned veterans of the Sussex woodlands that fringed the summits of the Downs had been uprooted by the gale. By contrast the night had acquired a stillness that was uncanny, almost tangible. It was, as it were, a hushing, a cessation almost, of Nature's very breathing, akin to, though far more deeply suggestive than, the exhausted stillness that so often presages the birth of dawn. The quiet, hushed world might have been pausing breathlessly in anticipation of some great and momentous event.
In the creases and hollows of the great grey Downs thin wisps of mist drifted like fairy raiment, luminous, insubstantial. But the sky was perfectly clear and starlit, and the blunt shapes of the Downs were outlined in grey, shadowy silhouette, acquiring here and there a fantastic, remote resemblance to enormous profiles, drawn with bold decision and giant pencil; human faces in preposterous foreshortening; crouching animal forms menacing and alert. And beyond them, invisible except from the heights, it was possible to picture the sea, lying glass-like after its recent wild commotion, as still in its passionless calm as a frozen lake.
Lady Elstone had lived all her married life of twenty-eight years in sight of the Downs.
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Title: The Elstones: A Novel (Classic Reprint)
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Publication Date: 2015
Book Condition: Good
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