One of my favorite parts of last night’s episode was not only Gold giving Belle the library, but him quoting the line, “We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Naturally, I had to hit the internet to find out that this line is from John Lubbock’s “The Pleasures of Life.” (Though it may be a paraphrase, my quick scan showed a slightly different wording.) I always get a huge kick learning what books my favorite fictional characters are reading, and as some who loves 1800s literature, I can’t wait to track this 1887 book down. It is available online, and it seems to be a collection of reflections about happiness, and things that give hope to mankind. There are chapters on Science, Religion, Love, Art, and so on. (*Two* chapters are devoted to books -Chapter 3 A Song of Books and Chapter 4 The Choice of Books.)
I loved this line personally because the sentiment behind it really sings to my own heart. With a new baby my own travels have been circumscribed lately.
I loved the way it points out how important a library will be for a community trapped behind the town line, and specifically, to Belle who longed to travel only to find herself locked in yet again.
But it broke my heart to imagine Rumplestiltskin, either as lonely pawnbroker Gold or as his frightened, chess master self reading a book to try and figure out how to be happy.