"it is easy, retrospectively, to endow one's youth with a ... false precocity or a false innocence; to tamper with the dates marking one's stature on the edge of the door. i should like to think – indeed i sometimes do think – that i decorated those rooms with morris stuffs and arundel prints and that my shelves were filled with seventeenth-century folios and french novels of the second empire in russia-leather and watered-silk. but this was not the truth."
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