Olivia Curtis receives four gifts for her seventeenth birthday: a diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten-shilling note and a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first evening dress.
She anticipates her first dance with tremulous uncertainty and excitement. Exploring the fantasies and miseries attendant upon even the most innocent of social events, Rosamond Lehmann perfectly captures the emotions of a girl standing poised on the threshold of womanhood.
‘Dance after dance with an old fogey. Three running now, pressed to his paunch.’ Oh, the hell of parties! The small humiliations. The shy, smudged-mascara, wallflower-grief of it all. Where was...Read more