Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Bookish Quote: Books as weapons?

Today I thought I would share a quote from A Weapon of Choice which is Susanna Kearsley's contribution to the novella collection in The Deadly Hours. As I have mentioned before I am a Kearsley fangirl from way back.

When I read this section, I couldn't help but think of the saying "the pen is mightier than sword".

I reviewed this book here.

She showed a smile now to Vautour, and said, "You'll think me very ignorant, I fear, but I confess that I know little of the siege apart from stories I've been told, and stories, as I'm sure you know, are often wrong."

Vautour's face cleared. "Exactly."

When he looked at her this time, his eyes were openly admiring. "I would never think that you are ignorant, madame. You may be young, but already you know this truth: you cannot trust a book. It is an unforgiving weapon."

Hugh could tell that Mary, with her love of books, was keen to intervene in their defense, and he could see the effort that it cost her to keep still as Vautour continued on, not noticing, to Anna, "All these stories you have heard came from a book - you know this? A book written by the nobleman who led our raid, betrayed us, and then scurried home to France  to publish his relation of events and twist the truth to his own purposes. The great Baron de Pointis." He all but spat the name, and Mary could not hold her silence.

She lightly said, "I think you are unfair to blame the book, sir, for a book cannot be faulted for the writing that it holds. It is the baron, surely, who deserves the blame."

He seemed unswayed by her opinion. "But the baron has been dead longer than you have been alive, madam, and yet his book lives on, and wounds my reputation still. How does a man fight that?

Vautour then tells his story and then a bit later there is this

"This is the unkindness of history, madame. The exploits of the greatest general will not be remembered if none choose to write them down for him, yet all men's lives lie vulnerable to any who would hang them out and twist them on the page with the cruelty of a common executioner. Now I would rather face the Scottish blade that your unsmiling friend here carries at his belt" - he gestured to the dirk that Hugh wore openly - "than battle with a book, for as I say, it is an unforgiving weapon."