Three Score & Ten is an anthology of literary quotes illustrating every year of one’s life from conception to death. Basically 0 – 70 (or minus 9 months to 70 if you prefer).
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
"I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me..."
Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress
"...after a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been imposed upon the parish"
Life Is Elsewhere
"We learn that before his second birthday he declared, Mama nice. Several months later he said, Mama is kaka."
Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry
"‘I believe it! I believe it all!’ As we all do at the age of two."
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel)
"There are still a dozen or more snapshots aged one, two and two and a half, lying, sitting, crawling, and running. They aren’t bad; but all in all, they merely lead up to the full-length portrait they had taken of me in honour of my third birthday."
Johann 'Hanno' Buddenbrook
"A four-year old at play. His games have a deeper meaning and fascination that adults can no longer fathom..."
"I knew that my father and sister were innocent of my mother’s real nature, and the burden of betrayal that I imagined would fall to me if I ever came upon her unawares was more than I wanted to bear at the age of five."
To the Lighthouse
"...he belonged, even at age of six, to that great clan which cannot keep this feeling separate from that, but must let future prospects, with their joys and sorrows, cloud what is actually at hand..."
'The Basement Room'
"All his seven nursery years vibrated with the strange, the new experience."
"I am nine years old and the whole family, my father, my mother, the Brass Monkey and myself, we are staying at my grandparents' house in Agra..."
Kieron Smith, Boy
"But some boys went to Bible Class. They said if ye did they would let ye in the BB sooner, if ye were still just eleven."
"I was between twelve and thirteen, and I wanted to think of myself as a man."
Adrian Albert Mole
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾
"It's time I fell in love, after all I am 13 ¾ years old."
"‘When I was your age, my father told me something that proved very useful and helped me a great deal.’ "
Ham on Rye
"I was 15 years old and in love with her and I was covered with boils and there was nothing that either of us could do."
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
"He began to confess his sins: masses missed, prayers not said, lies."
The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger
"I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen."
A Clockwork Orange
"Perhaps I was getting too old for the sort of jeezny I had been leading, brothers. I was eighteen now, just gone. Eighteen was not a young age. "
The Rachel Papers
" Even that, come on now, was a pretty arresting thing for a nineteen-year-old boy to have thought."
Ask The Dust
"I was twenty then. What the hell, I used to say, take your time, Bandini. "
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
"‘Drink?’ Brenda’s friend exclaimed. ‘I’ll bet you can’t drink like young Arthur Seaton there’ – nodding to Arthur’s end of the table. ‘He’s on’y twenty-one and ‘e can tek it in like a fish."
The Good Soldier - A Tale of Passion
Ford Maddox Ford
"He was at that time twenty-two and, I believe, almost in pure in mind as Leonora herself. It is odd how a boy can have his virgin intelligence untouched in this world."
"Misery and a nameless nostalgic distress possessed him. He was twenty-three, and oh! so agonizingly conscious of the fact."
Bright Lights, Big City
"“Twenty-four. Your whole life ahead of you. You’re single, right?”"
The Talented Mr Ripley
"What was he himself doing at twenty-five? Living from week to week. No bank account. Dodging cops now for the first time in his life."
"Reaching the age of twenty-six / Bored with leisure in the end / Found, without rank, career, or wife / Nothing to occupy his life."
"He was certainly a happy fellow at this time: to be seven-and-twenty, without any fixed vices..."
"He could not make them understand that he was a crotchety old fogey of twenty-eight, that he belonged to another generation, another era, another world, that having a good time bored him and was not worth the effort, and they bored him, too"
"He stared into the mirror at his fine fizzog. It was true: he did look like a mature twenty-nine-year old chap. With a face like that there was no reason to be as he was. But what about tomorrow! "
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade."
"... there was no reason on God’s earth why I, at the ripe old age of thirty-one, should continue to suffer a similar embarrassment. I was well trained to resist."
The Trick of It
"I’m thirty-two. Thin as a sheet of paper. Have to keep my spectacles on until my face is about sixty centimetres from hers. Enjoy an occasional laugh."
The Big Sleep
"I’m thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there’s any demand for it. There isn’t much in my trade."
Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder
""How old are you – thirty-four? That’s no age for starting. You ought to be settling down.""
"I am thirty-five years old. According to the last good book I read, this means that I am half way through my time travel, my travel through time. "
Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom
"Thirty-six years old and he knows less than when he started."
"...Thomas Buddenbrook, though he was barely thirty-seven years old, was losing his elasticity, was wearing himself out fast."
Tender is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald
" Eighteen might look at thirty-four through a rising mist of adolescence; but twenty-two would see thirty-eight with discerning clarity."
Krapp's Last Tape
"Thirty-nine today, sound as a bell, apart from my old weakness..."
Notes From Underground
"I have been living like this for a long time now – about twenty years. I am forty."
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade
"He was forty-one years old, and he was visiting his decrepit mother at Pine Knoll, an old people's home he had put her in only a month before."
The Diary of a Madman
"I’m only forty-two, that’s an age nowadays when one’s career is only just beginning. "
The Easter Parade
"'I didn’t walk around like a man without skin, without flesh, worrying about what people thought of me. I wasn’t –' he lowered his voice to show that this next point would be the most telling and damning of all – ‘I wasn’t forty-three years old.’"
'Back In That Town'
"Forty-four years of age. That is not old. But it is certainly not young, it is not young."
Coming Up For Air
"I knew what I looked like already. A fat man of forty-five, in a grey herringbone suit a bit the worse for the wear and a bowler hat. Wife, two kids and a house in the suburbs written all over me."
A House for Mr Biswas
"Mr Biswas was forty-six, and had four children. He had no money."
"...here, at the age of forty-seven, he was coming home after a night out with a lip made sore by biting and kissing, his problems as unsolved as ever..."
"When I faced the shaving mirror each morning I saw a man of undoubted forty-eight years, uneasy, unloved except by his readers, weary, tinted by good living, chin sagging, hair greying and thinning but superbly sculpted by my regular operative at Trumper’s of Mayfair."
The Country Wife
"...if she be silly she’ll expect as much from of forty-nine as from him of one-and-twenty."
"An experience fell to my lot this night of the Ball that I had never known in all my fifty years..."
The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil
"It was his fifty-first birthday, and he had no one with whom to celebrate – if such a day merited celebration. "
Professor Timofey Pnin
"Nowadays, at fifty-two, he was crazy about sunbathing, wore sport shirts and slacks, and when crossing his legs would carefully, deliberately, brazenly display a tremendous stretch of bare skin."
Mr Norris Changes Trains
"'I shall be fifty-three. Thank you, dear boy. Thank you. I must confess I find it difficult to become accustomed to the thought that the yellow leaf is upon me...' "
Something Wicked This Way Comes
"Nothing extraordinary about me except I’m fifty-four, which is always extraordinary to the man inside it. "
Henderson the Rain King
"When I think of my condition at the age of fifty-five when I bought the ticket, all is grief."
The Pregnant Widow
"At his time of life (he was fifty-six), you resigned yourself to a simple truth: each successive visit to the mirror will, by definition, confront you with something unprecedentedly awful. "
"Fifty-seven; it’s a critical age. At your age desire is much the same as it ever was, – but satisfaction brings its revenges. "
A Single Man
"What it sees there isn’t so much a face as the expression of a predicament. Here’s what it has done to itself, here’s the mess it has somehow managed to get itself into, during its fifty-eight years..."
"R.M. Renfield, aetat. 59 – Sanguine temperament; great physical strength; morbidly excitable; periods of gloom ending in some fixed idea which I cannot make out. "
The Magic Mountain
"...malleable youth felt crushed beneath the weight of this broad-shouldered, red-faced sixty-year-old, with white flames that encircled his head, painfully ragged lips, and a long, narrow beard that reached down to his high-buttoned, clerical-style vest."
"Today I’m sixty-one. Waxwings / Are berry-picking. A cicada sings."
Mr Stone and the Knights Companion
" Gardening as he practised it was no more than a means, well suited to his age, which was sixty-two, of exhausting the spare time and energy with which his undemanding duties in one of the Excal company, his status as a bachelor and his still excellent physique amply provided him."
Death of a Salesman
"Is this his reward – to turn around at the age of sixty-three and find his sons, who he loved better than his life, one a philandering bum..."
"Alfred retired two months before his sixty-fifth birthday. "
Captain Henry Whalley
The End of the Tether
"He had buried his wife (in the Gulf of Petchili), had married off his daughter to the man of her unlucky choice, and had lost more than an ample competence in the crash of the notorious Travancore and Deccan Banking Corporation, whose downfall had shaken the East like an earthquake. And he was sixty-five years old."
Breakfast at Tiffany's
"Not that I don’t think about that side of things. Even at my age, and I’ll be sixty-seven January ten. "
The Horse's Mouth
"I was so calm, that when I felt my pulse, it barely touched seventy-eight. Pretty good for a man of sixty-seven."
The Knot of Vipers
"...at sixty-eight a man’s not free to decide whether he shall seem unapproachable or not..."
Honoré de Balzac
"In the year 1813, at the age of sixty-nine or thereabouts, "Father Goriot" had sold his business and retired—to Mme. Vauquer's boarding house."
"A sense of black injustice of bodily decay came over him, but a rebellious voice crying in his heart ‘I am young, I am young,’ while carnal witness of his three score years and ten sank suddenly at the knees."