When is love at its most intense?

A.S. Byatt in The Children’s Book (2009) answers:

But Julian was clever and observant enough to see that love was at its most intense before it was reciprocated. ‘Love is a standing, or still growing light / And his first moment, after noon, is night.’ ‘What will it be when that the watery palate tastes indeed / Love’s thrice repured nectar?’

–p. 251

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What is money?

A.S. Byatt in The Children’s Book (2009) answers:

Money was freedom. Money was aesthetic. Money was Arab stallions, not rough cobs. Money was not being shouted at. […] Money was freedom. Money was life. Β -p. 59

How poor can one get?

‘I once walked through Poplar behind two ragged men. They bent continuously to the pavement, picking up orange peel and apple cores, grape stems and crumbs. They cracked the pits of plums between their teeth for the kernels inside. They picked single undigested oats out of horse dung. Can you imagine?’ – p. 58

Later:

‘How can these people bear to go to church and then go about in the streets and see what is there for everyone to see – and get told what the Bible says about the poor – and go on riding in carriages, and choosing neckties and hats – and eating huge beefsteaks – I can’t see it.’ -p. 170

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Who is the best-loved child?

A.S. Byatt in The Children’s Book (2009) answers:

The parents […] found it hard in practice to do what they believed in theory they should do, which was to love all the children equally. A man and a woman with nine or ten, or twelve children spread their love differently from the way in which they might have concentrated on a singleton or two infants. Love depended on the spaces between infants, on the health of the parents, on death, on the chances of which child survived an epidemic or an accident, and which did not. These were families in which the best-loved child had died, and remained the best-loved. There were families in which, apparently, the dead had disappeared without trace, and were not spoken of as realities. There were families in which an unborn child was dreaded and shrunken from, only to become, on emerging alive from blood and danger, the best-loved after all.Β -pp. 29-30

Later:

The young desired to be free of the adults, and at the same time were prepared to resent any hint that the adults might desire to be free of them. -p. 227

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