Book 1, Chapter 1 Notes from Tender is the Night

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Tender is the Night Book 1, Chapter 1

About half way between Marseilles and the Italian Border, on the shore of the French Riviera, is a large, rose-colored hotel with palm trees in front of it. Many fashionable people spend there summers here at Gausse's Hotel des Etrangers, and there are a dozen villas spread about between it and Cannes, which is five miles away. The beach was quiet in the morning expect for a man came down to the beach in a blue bathrobe and swam in the sea for a minute before deciding that the water was too cold. An hour after that, merchantmen and busboys started working. Here, on a June morning in 1925, a woman and her daughter arrived, and were brought down to Gausse's hotel. The mother's face was one of fading prettiness, yet much awareness and tranquility; whereas the seventeen-year-old daughter had curly, blonde hair; big, bright eyes, and rosy cheeks.

The mother did not think that they would like the place, and the daughter, Rosemary, wanted to go home, and so they decided that they would only stay for three days. After making the reservation in flat French, the girl walked out onto the veranda and looked out onto the beach where she noticed a Buick parked in the hotel drive. Also, she noticed that the beach was the only place which was active: there were three British nannies knitting, there were a dozen people sitting under umbrellas, and then there were a dozen children chasing fish in the sea.

As Rosemary stepped out to the beach, a twelve-year-old boy ran past her and into the sea. Feeling that people were watching, she took off her bathrobe and followed the boy. She walked out into the sea until the water was breast-high, and then glanced back to the shore, where "a bald man in a monocle and a pair of tights, his tufted chest thrown out, his brash navel sucked in, was regarding her attentively." Book 1, Chapter 1, pg. 5 As she returned to the shore, the man, holding a bottle, informed her that there were sharks in the sea, behind the raft to which she swam. Rosemary was surprised, and then looked for a place to sit. Each family possessed the strip of beach directly in front of their umbrella, and there was much talking between people, creating a community. Farther up on the beach was a group of people with skin as white as her own, sitting under some hand-parasols. Rosemary found a spot between the dark people and the white ones and lay down on her beach-towel. After a while, the man with the monocle appeared above her and complimented her on her swimming. He then introduced himself as Campion, and said that there was a lady who said she knew her and had seen her in Sorrento the previous week. Annoyed, Rosemary saw the un-tanned people waiting and reluctantly went over to them. After introducing themselves as Mrs. Abrams, Mrs. McKisco, Mr. McKisco, and Mr. Dumphry, one of the women said that she recognized her as Rosemary Hoyt, and wanted to tell her that she was a marvelous actress, and asked why she wasn't back in America making more films. Then, she warned her about getting burned the first day in the sun because her skin is so important.

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