Extract from Amazing Thinkers and Humanitarians: Aristotle
Medicine wasn’t the only subject I was interested in. By nature, I was a curious child and, from an early age, I listened with great interest to the family discussions that often took place at home. These debates – because they were more than just discussions – were about the political situation in our town. They focused on the activities of all the influential people who lived there. I don’t know whether or not it was my father’s wish for me to become a politician. Unfortunately, he died long before I knew myself what I wanted to do with my life.
When my father died, leaving me an orphan, my older sister Arimneste and her husband Proxenus took me in and looked after me. My father had been a wealthy man and there was plenty of money available for my education. In addition to my existing interest in politics and medicine, what I was really fascinated by was philosophy and science. Not only did I want to continue my studies in these subjects but I also wanted to study in the city that was the most important academic place on the planet. So in 366 BCE, at the age of eighteen, I packed up and moved to Athens.
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Excerpt from The Mysterious Affair at Styles
It was a warm day in early July. As we drove, I admired the Essex countryside, green and peaceful in the sun. It was hard to believe that a war was being fought not far away.
John said, ‘It’s very quiet here, Hastings. My wife Mary works “on the land” because so many men are away fighting. She’s up at five every morning to milk the cows. It’s a good life – or it would be, if only Alfred Inglethorp wasn’t here!’
We arrived at the fine old house. A lady, who was gardening, stood up as we approached.
‘Hello, Evie, here’s our wounded hero! Mr Hastings, this is Miss Evelyn Howard. We call her Evie.’ Miss Howard shook my hand with a strong grip. She was a pleasant-looking woman of forty, with very blue eyes and a suntanned face. She had a large square body and a deep voice, like a man’s.
‘Come and have tea, Evie,’ said John. ‘You’ve done enough gardening for today.’
‘Yes,’ said Miss Howard, removing her gardening gloves, ‘I think you’re right.’ She led us round the house to where tea was being served in the shade of a large tree, and as we approached, John’s wife Mary came to meet us. I’ll never forget my first sight of Mary Cavendish. She was tall and slim, with wonderful dark eyes. Although she was very calm and quiet on the outside, I imagined that inside she was wild and free. Her voice was low and clear. Suddenly I was very glad that I had come to Styles.
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