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Old Love Jeffrey Archer Pdf 17


Old Love by Jeffrey Archer: A Review




Old Love is a short story by the bestselling author Jeffrey Archer, published in his collection A Quiver Full of Arrows in 1980. It is a tragic tale of two Oxford students, William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson, who compete fiercely in academics and literature, but eventually fall in love and marry. The story spans over several decades, from their first encounter in the 1930s to their deaths in the 1970s, and explores the themes of rivalry, passion, sacrifice, and fate.


The story begins with a brief introduction of the two protagonists, who are both brilliant scholars of English literature at Oxford. They are described as "the two most outstanding students of their generation", but they also hate each other from the moment they meet. They constantly try to outdo each other in exams, essays, debates, and prizes, especially the prestigious Charles Oldham prize for the best essay on Shakespeare. Their mutual loathing fuels their ambition and excellence, but also hides a deep attraction that they are unaware of.


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The turning point of their relationship comes when Philippa's father dies suddenly, leaving her alone and devastated. William, who learns about her father's sacrifices to send her to Oxford, feels sympathy and compassion for her. He accompanies her to the funeral and tries to comfort her. He also takes her to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, to cheer her up. There, they discover their common love for the Bard and his works. They also realize that they have feelings for each other, but they are too proud and stubborn to admit it.


William proposes to Philippa on their way back to Oxford, but she rejects him. However, she agrees to marry him if he wins the Charles Oldham prize, thinking that it is impossible. To her surprise and dismay, they both win the prize jointly, as their essays are equally brilliant. William quotes Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 to persuade her to honor her promise: "Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments". Philippa finally accepts his proposal, saying: "I will honour my undertaking". They get married soon after and become a celebrated couple in the literary world.


The story ends with a tragic twist, as Philippa dies of a heart attack one morning while doing The Times crossword puzzle. She leaves one clue unfinished: "A poet's whim (8)". William fills in the answer: "Whymwham", a word coined by John Skelton, a 16th-century poet. Philippa disputes his answer, saying that there is no such word in the dictionary. William assures her that he will prove it to her when he returns from his college. He then leaves for work, unaware that she is dying. He finds out about her death later and returns home. He shoots himself with his pistol, leaving a note that says: "Forgive me, but I had to let her know". He also leaves a volume of Skelton's works open on his desk, with the word "Whymwham" underlined.


Old Love is a powerful and poignant story that showcases Archer's skill as a storyteller. He creates memorable characters that are both admirable and flawed. He also uses irony and foreshadowing to create suspense and surprise. The story is rich in literary references and quotations, especially from Shakespeare, who plays a crucial role in the plot and theme. The story also explores the contrast between love and hate, competition and cooperation, life and death, and fate and choice.


If you are interested in reading this story, you can find it online as a PDF file or watch a TV adaptation titled Love Song . You can also read more about Jeffrey Archer and his other works on his official website or Wikipedia.




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