I’ve had my eye on this game, hosted by Kate, for a while, never quite finding the time to join in until today.  The idea is to freely associate books based upon one common initial link.

1. Today’s starter for 10 is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with Darcy perhaps the world’s most popular literary crush.  Not mine as it turns out because …

2. Prince Andrej from Tolstoy’s War and Peace is the man for me!

3. Andrej would be Andrew if he lived here in Scotland, and I’m spoilt for choice for the next book with so many Andrews to choose from.  Let’s go with the town, named after the Scottish patron saint, and The Book of St Andrews, an anthology that accompanies me whenever I visit.

4.  What do I think of whenever I think of St Andrews?  The two-mile long beach, the best bookshop in Scotland, or the bottle dungeon in the ruined castle, the horror of which haunts me,  and was so effectively captured in Belcampo’s short story Funeral Rights, contained in the Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories.

5. I can’t mention Dutch Literature without thinking of W F Herman’s The Darkroom of Damocles, my favourite novel of all time. (Note to self – it is time for a reread.)

6. The sword of Damocles is an allusion to the ever-present threats to those in power. “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” as King Henry says in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part Two.

7.  Which brings me rather neatly to my current read.  New Boy, the latest release in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, is Tracy Chevalier’s homage to Shakespeare’s Othello, another leader who discovered peril where he least expected it. There is also a circular link back to Pride and Prejudice.  Wasn’t Mr Bingley, once upon a time, the new boy on the block?