Susan Cooper

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Susan Cooper in september 2013

Susan Mary Cooper (born 23 May 1935) is an English-born American author of children’s books. She is best known for The Dark Is Rising, a five-volume contemporary fantasy series set in England and Wales.


The Dark Is Rising (1965-1977)[edit]

Over Sea, Under Stone (1965)[edit]

All page numbers from the paperback edition published by Scholastic Books
  • “But why Latin?” demanded Barney.
    “I don’t know, the monks just always used it, that’s all, it was one of their things. I suppose it’s a religious-sounding kind of language.”
    • Chapter 3 (p. 31)
  • “You have heard me talk of Logres. It was the old name for this country, thousands of years ago; in the old days when the struggle between good and evil was more bitter and open than it is now. That struggle goes on all round us all the time, like two armies fighting. And sometimes one of them seems to be winning and sometimes the other, but neither has ever triumphed altogether. Nor ever will,” he added softly to himself, “for there is something of each in every man.”
    • Chapter 6 (p. 74)
  • All knowledge is sacred, but it should not be secret.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 182)

The Dark Is Rising (1973)[edit]

All page numbers from the paperback edition published by Scholastic Books
  • Nothing is what it seems, boy. Expect nothing and fear nothing, here or anywhere. There’s your first lesson.
    • Chapter 3 “The Sign-Seeker” (p. 36)
  • When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
    Three from the circle, three from the track;
    Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
    Five will return, and one go alone.
    • Chapter 3 “The Sign-Seeker” (p. 45)
  • Nearly every tale that men tell of magic and witches and such is born out of foolishness and ignorance and sickness of mind—or is a way of explaining things they do not understand.
    • Chapter 6 “The Book of Gramarye” (p. 101)
  • Each wave of men in turn grew peaceful as it grew to know and love the land, so that the Light flourished again. But always the Dark was there, swelling and waning, gaining a new Lord of the Dark whenever a man deliberately chose to be changed into something more dread and powerful than his fellows. Such creatures were not born to their doom, like the Old Ones, but chose it.
    • Chapter 7 “Betrayal” (p. 107)
  • Will saw the cruelty now as the fierce inevitability of nature. It was not from malice that the Light and the servants of the Light would ever hound the Dark, but from the nature of things.
    • Chapter 12 “The Hunt Rides” (pp. 224-225)

Greenwitch (1974)[edit]

All page numbers from the paperback edition published by Aladdin Books
  • Never dismiss anyone’s value until you know him.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 18)
  • Jane clutched her mug like a talisman of reality.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 97)

The Grey King (1975)[edit]

All page numbers from the paperback edition published by Scholastic Books
  • He was not for that moment a human being, but a frenzied creature possessed by rage, turned into an animal. All that could be seen in him was the urge to hurt, and it was, as it will always be, the most dreadful sight in the world.
    • Chapter 5 “Fire on the Mountain” (p. 55)
  • Only the creatures of the earth take from one another, boy. All creatures, but men more than any. Life they take, and liberty, and all that another man may have—sometimes through greed, sometimes through stupidity, but never by any volition but their own. Beware your own race, Bran Davies—they are the only ones who will ever harm you, in the end.
    • Chapter 6 “Bird Rock” (pp. 71-72)
  • He made the quick apologetic grimace that seemed to be as near as he ever came to a smile.
    • Chapter 8 “The Girl from the Mountains” (p. 91)
  • No, he is not of the Dark. But he is very useful. A man so wrapped in his own ill-will is a gift to the Dark from the earth. It is so easy to give him suitable ideas...Very useful, indeed.
    • Chapter 9 “The Grey King” (p. 108)
  • At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else. You are like fanatics. Your masters, at any rate. Like the old Crusaders—oh, like certain groups in every belief, though this is not a matter of religion, of course. At the centre of the Light there is a cold white flame, just as at the centre of the Dark there is a great black pit bottomless as the Universe.
    • Chapter 10 “The Pleasant Lake” (p. 115)

Silver on the Tree (1977)[edit]

All page numbers from the paperback edition published by Scholastic Books
  • The mindless ferocity of this man, and all those like him, their real loathing born of nothing more solid than insecurity and fear...It was a channel. Will knew that he had been gazing into the channel down which the powers of the Dark, if they gained their freedom, could ride in an instant to complete control of the earth.
    • Chapter 4 “Midsummer Day” (p. 54)
  • That one is so sharp he will cut himself.
    • Chapter 7 “Afanc” (p. 98)
  • “All life is theatre,” he said. “We are all actors, you and I, in a play which nobody wrote and which nobody will see. We have no audience but ourselves....” He laughed gently. “Some players would say that is the best kind of theatre there can be.”
    • Chapter 9 “The City” (p. 139)
  • Bran said, “Why should some of the riders of the Dark be dressed all in white and the rest all in black?”
    “Without color....” Will said reflectively. “I don’t know. Maybe because the Dark can only reach people at extremes—blinded by their own shining ideas, or locked up in the darkness of their own heads.”
    • Chapter 10 “The Rose-Garden” (p. 146)
  • The Land is neither of the Dark nor the Light, nor ever was. Its enchantment was of a separate kind, the magic of the mind and the hand and the eye, that owes no allegiance because it is neither good nor bad. It has no more to do with the behaviour of men, or the great absolutes of the Light and the Dark, than does the blossom of a rose or the curving leap of a fish.
    • Chapter 12 “The Journey” (p. 164)
  • Strong as a young lion, pliant as a loving woman, and bitter to the taste, as all enchantment in the end must be.
    • Chapter 14 “Caer Wydyr” (p. 190)
  • “For remember,” he said, “that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands—your hands and the hands of the children of all men on this earth. The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.”
    His voice rang out over the mountain, more impassioned than any of them had ever heard a voice before, and they stood quiet as standing stones, listening.
    “For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvellous joy.”
    • Chapter 20 “One Goes Alone” (p. 272)

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