Our minds are like those maps at the entrance to the Metro stations in Paris. They are full of unilluminated directions. But when we know where we want to go and press the right button, the route is illuminated before us in electric clarity. Diana von Flugel warned her husband: a piece of toast that hard could break a tooth. When Diana goes to Melbourne to have the tooth fixed, Wolfie is far too concerned with finding inspiration for his musical compositions to realise the chain of events he has just set in motion. On Collins Street, Russell Lockwood catches a glimpse of his childhood friend and knows at once that she is a rare woman...Now Diana and Wolfie's marriage is under threat, the Great War is approaching, and no one quite knows where their hearts belong. First published in 1957, the third novel in Martin Boyd's celebrated Langton Quartet is a beguiling comedy of manners about the outbreak of love in inconvenient places. This edition of Outbreak of Love comes with an introduction by Chris Womersley.
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Martin a' Beckett Boyd was born in Switzerland in 1893 into a famous family. His brothers Merric and Penleigh were to become artists too. Merric's son Arthur was to become a famous painter, and Penleigh's son Robin became an architect and wrote The Australian Ugliness. After leaving school, Martin Boyd enrolled in a seminary, but he abandoned this vocation and began to train as an architect. With the outbreak of World War I, he sailed for England where he served in the Royal East Kent Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps. Boyd eventually settled in England after the war. His first novel, Love Gods, was published in 1925. Three years later The Montforts appeared, under the pseudonym Martin Mills. Following the international success of Lucinda Brayford in 1946 Boyd decided to return to Australia where he wanted to restore his grandfather's house, but by 1951 he was back in London. In the coming decade he was to write the Langton Quartet: The Cardboard Crown, A Difficult Young Man, Outbreak of Love, When Blackbirds Sing. In 1957 he went to Rome, where he lived and continued to write until his death in 1972.