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).
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."
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe
" by the time Eppie was three years old, she developed a fine capacity for mischief"
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."
What Maisie Knew
" She was familiar, at the age of six, with the fact that everything had been changed on her account..."
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 Well of Loneliness
"It cannot be said that at seven years old the mind is beset by serious problems, but nevertheless it is already groping, may already be subject to small fits of dejection, may already be struggling to get a grip on life – on the limited life of its surroundings. "
Novel On Yellow Paper
"When I was eight years old I went away from my parents to a convalescent home..."
"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."
"It seemed dreadful that at thirteen I had reached my best, that I could never be any better."
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 Spy in the House of Love
"At sixteen Sabina took moon-baths, first of all because everyone else took sun-baths, and second, she admitted, because she had been told it was dangerous..."
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."
"When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things..."
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 Bell Jar
" Nineteen years, and I hadn’t been out of New England except for this trip to New York. It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water."
The Rachel Papers
" Even that, come on now, was a pretty arresting thing for a nineteen-year-old boy to have thought."
Love in a Cold Climate
"'...why not make the most of being a girl? You’ll never be one again. You’re only twenty. Why be in such a hurry to change?’"
Ask The Dust
"I was twenty then. What the hell, I used to say, take your time, Bandini. "
Anna of the Five Towns
"'It's your birthday, ye told me. I hadna' forgotten. Ye're of age to-day, and there's summat for ye.'"
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 Odd Women
"When you have reached my age I prophesy you will smile at your despair of ten years ago. At your age one talks readily of “wrecked life” and “hopeless future,” and all that kind of thing. My dear girl, you may live to be one of the most contented and most useful women in England."
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."
The Golden Notebook
"Being so young, twenty-three or four, I suffered, like so many ‘emancipated’ girls, from a terror of being trapped and tamed by domesticity. "
Bright Lights, Big City
"“Twenty-four. Your whole life ahead of you. You’re single, right?”"
If Morning Ever Comes
"Her face was prettier and more clearly defined, but she still gave the impression of a waifish kind of thinness that made her seem more like fifteen than twenty-five."
Nights at the Circus
"He was like a handsome house that has been let, furnished..."
"Julia was twenty-six years old. She lived in a hostel with thirty other girls (‘Always in the stink of women! How I hate women!’ she said parenthetically), and she worked, as he had guessed, on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department."
"Reaching the age of twenty-six / Bored with leisure in the end / Found, without rank, career, or wife / Nothing to occupy his life."
Lady Constance Chatterley
Lady Chatterley's Lover
"How time went by! Ten years dead, and she was only twenty-seven."
"He was certainly a happy fellow at this time: to be seven-and-twenty, without any fixed vices..."
"Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her. This may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom to descend upon the soul of a young woman of twenty-eight—perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman."
"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"
The House of Mirth
"Younger and plainer girls had been married off by dozens, and she was nine-and-twenty, and still Miss Bart."
"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."
Play It As It Lays
"Age, thirty-one. Married. Divorced. One daughter, age four."
"Im what am I at all Ill be 33 in September will I O well look at that Mrs Galbraith shes much older than me I saw her when I was out last week her beautys on the wane she was a lovely woman…"
"Now I am thirty-two years old, and the path getting narrower all the time..."
The Handmaid's Tale
"I am thirty-three years old. I have brown hair. I stand five seven without shoes. I have trouble remembering what I used to look like. I have variable ovaries. I have one more chance."
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."
"My God, you’re thirty-four years old, go on downstairs and call him. "
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. "
After Leaving Mr Mackenzie
"Jeane dame (36), conaissant anglais, francais, allemande, cherche situation dame de compagnie ou gouvernante. Hautes references…"
Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom
"Thirty-six years old and he knows less than when he started."
The Love Department
"‘You are thirty-seven. It’s an age of discretion, Eve.’"
"...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."
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
"‘I am forty,’ said Miss Pettigrew, ‘and no one, in all my life before, has flirted with me.'"
Notes From Underground
"I have been living like this for a long time now – about twenty years. I am forty."
A Widow For One Year
"At forty-one, Ruth was ten or more years older than any of the other women in the Rokin gym..."
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 Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders
"...there would always be some difference seen between five-and-twenty and two-and-forty."
Miss Jean Brodie
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
"Miss Brodie was now forty-three and this year when she looked so much thinner than when she had stood in the classroom or sat under the elm, her shape was pleasanter..."
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.’"
To the Lighthouse
"One can’t waste one’s time at forty-four, she thought."
Seize the Day
"The spirit, the peculiar burden of his existence lay upon him like an accretion, a load, a hump..."
Daphne du Maurier
"She must have thought about the days that were gone, ever remembered the lanky pig-tailed child that she had been once, so different from woman she had become, forty-five now, vigorous and settled in her ways, another person…"
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."
W. Somerset Maugham
"Forty-six. Forty-six. Forty-six. I shall retire when I'm sixty..."
A House for Mr Biswas
"Mr Biswas was forty-six, and had four children. He had no money."
Other People's Worlds
"At forty-seven her round face was not yet empty of the beauty that had once distinguished it..."
Mrs India Bridge
Evan S. Connell
"How long ago, she thought, how very long ago that was! It seemed like eight or ten years ago, but it was more than twenty, and on this day she was forty-eight years old. "
"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."
"At the age of forty-nine, Léonie Vallon, called Léa de Lonval, was nearing the end of a successful career as a richly kept courtesan."
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
"So I lean affirmation across the café table, and surrender my fifty years away with an easy smile."
"An experience fell to my lot this night of the Ball that I had never known in all my fifty years..."
"She was not old yet. She had just broken into her fifty-second year. Months and months of it were still untouched. June, July, August!"
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. "
"Either forswear fucking others or the affair was over.This was the ultimatum, the maddeningly improbable, wholly unforeseen ultimatum, that the mistress of fifty-two delivered in tears to her lover of sixty-four..."
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."
Sons and Lovers
"‘You’re not going to leave me. What are you? Fifty-three! I’ll give you to seventy-five...'"
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...' "
Time's Arrow: or The Nature of the Offence
"This little honey’s only fifty-four."
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. "
Iris Aroon St. Charles
"At fifty-seven my brain is fairly bright, brighter than ever I sometimes think, and I have a cast-iron memory."
"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..."
The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion
Ford Madox Ford
"Miss Hurlbird was just sixty-one and Miss Florence Hurlbird fifty-nine, and they were both, mentally and physically, as vigorous as could be desired."
"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. "
All Passion Spent
"Dear me, how old we all are. Herbert must be sixty-eight, and I’m sixty..."
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."
The Old Devils
"...at sixty-one - his age too - her cheeks and jaws held their shape and the skin under her eyes was remarkably supple. "
"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."
"...sixty-three, a widow of many years' standing, a pensioner under Penhallow's roof..."
"Alfred retired two months before his sixty-fifth birthday. "
The Provincial Lady in Wartime
"She may look many years younger than her age, but sixty-six is sixty-six and is not the proper time of life for driving a heavy ambulance. "
"Sixty-seven-year-old Claudia, on a pavement awash with packaged American matrons, crying not in grief but in wonder that nothing is ever lost, that everything can be retrieved, that a lifetime is not linear but instant."
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."
"Mrs Agnes Trounce, a widow, sixty-eight years of age in a little-old-lady hat and a grey-white shawl (nice touch), climbs flusterdly from her car and turns towards the target with her eyes benign and pleading."
The Knot of Vipers
"...at sixty-eight a man’s not free to decide whether he shall seem unapproachable or not..."
A New Life
"Mrs Beaty lived and let live, a woman of sixty-nine, gone half deaf..."
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."