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A Proper Marriage

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      A Proper Marriage
Doris Lessing

The second book in the Nobel Prize for Literature winner’s ‘Children of Violence’ series tracing the life of Martha Quest from her childhood in colonial Africa to old age in post-nuclear Britain.‘A Proper Marriage’ sees twenty-something Martha beginning to realise that her marriage has been a terrible mistake. Already the first passionate flush of matrimony has begun to fade; sensuality has become dulled by habit, blissful motherhood now seems no more than a tiresome chore. Caught up in a maelstrom of a world war she can no longer ignore, Martha’s political consciousness begins to dawn, and, seizing independence for the first time, she chooses to make her life her own.

A Proper Marriage

Book Two of the ‘Children of Violence’ series

Doris Lessing

Copyright (#ulink_5034da5d-40d6-58df-a21d-9a6cfec916ce)

Fourth Estate

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77–85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published in Great Britain by Michael Joseph 1954

Copyright © Doris Lessing 1954

Doris Lessing asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication.

Source ISBN: 9780586089996

Ebook Edition © MAY 2010 ISBN: 9780007406920

Version: 2014-09-15

Table of Contents

Cover Page (#u3f7a3bda-f687-5938-8729-61b0eb521da6)

Title Page (#u225d8125-f5da-5d4e-bb77-e68f1624b6f0)

Copyright (#u6c8167e1-8ed0-5a32-8e34-1b22f5217d7d)

Part One (#ua6c57fbb-f6bc-513d-a7eb-b9a7044b53ff)

Chapter One (#u8e41b2e2-6812-5e2e-9e8d-cb9c71da835a)

Chapter Two (#u8da2380d-67b4-558f-a337-4e7fce78d544)

Chapter Three (#ud90c22b2-2bd9-5da2-9191-150c541bc47f)

Chapter Four (#u1d2be00e-e91e-5b5b-a909-d1fd8499a789)

Part Two (#u2d621fa3-f0a8-56ac-bc34-0cfa63a68c90)

Chapter One (#ub9a445ed-fb6e-5802-bf6b-fbc2c9baaec7)

Chapter Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Four (#litres_trial_promo)

Part Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter One (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Four (#litres_trial_promo)

Part Four (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter One (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Four (#litres_trial_promo)

Read On (#litres_trial_promo)

The Grass is Singing (#litres_trial_promo)

The Golden Notebook (#litres_trial_promo)

The Good Terrorist (#litres_trial_promo)

Love, Again (#litres_trial_promo)

The Fifth Child (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Part One (#ulink_2802ed82-7107-5624-b424-2486fe2ccf51)

‘You shouldn’t make jokes,’ Alice said, ‘if it makes you so unhappy.’

LEWIS CARROLL

Chapter One (#ulink_0ce05f9a-1acc-5595-9b35-525e00e6cd69)

It was half past four in the afternoon.

Two young women were loitering down the pavement in the shade of the sunblinds that screened the shop windows. The grey canvas of the blinds was thick, yet the sun, apparently checked, filled the long arcade with a yellow glare. It was impossible to look outwards towards the sun-filled street, and unpleasant to look in towards the mingling reflections in the window glass. They walked, therefore, with lowered gaze as if concerned about their feet. Their faces were strained and tired. One was talking indefatigably, the other unresponsive, and – it was clear – not so much from listlessness as from a stubborn opposition. There was something about the couple which suggested guardian and ward.

At last one exclaimed, with irritated cheerfulness, ‘Matty, if you don’t get a move on, we’ll be late for the doctor.’

‘But, Stella, you’ve just said we had half an hour to fill in,’ said Martha as promptly as if she had been waiting for just this point of fact to arise, so that she might argue it out to its conclusions. Stella glanced sharply at her, but before she could speak Martha continued, deepening the humorous protest, because the resentment was so strong, ‘It was you who seemed to think I couldn’t get through another day of married life without seeing the doctor, not me. Why you had to fix an appointment for this afternoon I can’t think.’ She laughed, to soften the complaint.
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