Opening Phrases

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

There was no possibility of walking that day.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had not pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book”, thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew, was this.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.

D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

Found in: Russell Ash, Top 10 of Britain: 250 Quintessentially British Lists

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