June Meme Qst: Opening Line

It's June and this means the Classics Club has another question meme for us! This month's question is:

What is your favourite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why)?

Opening sentences are really important to novels and I am, unfortunately, one of those people who are influenced by terribly, or amazing, opening lines. I guess if I have to pick my favourite one I will have to go for the first opening line that really influenced me, which is from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Here we go:
'IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.'
I decided to also add the next line, because it just underlines to irony of the first line. The opinions of the male characters are hardly taken into account, aside from Mr. Darcy, because it's so focused on Elizabeth and other women. And I think it's amazing that in a time where women were the property of parents or husbands, Austen considered the men the property. I love you, Austen.

I decided to add something extra, so here's my favourite opening line of a film, which is also a book: 'The Fellowship of the Ring'.
'The world is changed: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air...Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.'
I just love the beginning. From the very beginning you are aware of an existing history, but also of the close link between the earth and the people in The Lord of the Rings, which I think a lot of people miss out on. And this line is of course helped by the fact it is read out by Galadriel.

So, how about you? What was your favourite opening line?


  1. That's a good choice. You get the sense of Austen's wit right from the beginning

  2. I'm with you - P & P all the way. I love how this opening sets up the whole book - it's so clever and funny at the same time.

  3. Great opening line from P&P and LOTR! The opening line from the movie is so potent because it seems to come from deep within the soul.

  4. I have never read LOTR but I enjoyed the movies so much. And when Galadriel spoke those words she gave me the creeps. Good choices anyway!

    Here's my favorite opening line: http://surgabukuku.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/my-favorite-opening-line-the-classics-clubs-june-meme/


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