Phrases with "keen"

A look from D’Artagnan, a look as keen and piercing as a sword-blade, found nothing in the heart of the old man but a simple confidence—on his features, nothing but satisfaction and indifference. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Arthur Conan Doyle I tried to put on as unconcerned an air as possible, but I had not forgotten the warnings of the lady, even though I disregarded them, and I kept a keen eye upon my two companions. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1892]

His understanding was so keen That all things which he’d felt, heard, seen, He could interpret without fail If he was in or out of jail. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

D. H. Lawrence Her eyes were keen and observant, but her inner mind took no notice of what she saw. The Fox by D. H. Lawrence

I know you’re keen on shooting, and I sort of remember that you have done some yachting too, though I rather forget about that. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers [1903]

Rudyard Kipling Gentlemen, this record of unsurpassed achievement, and my admiration for it, is as keen as my envy. A Book of Words by Rudyard Kipling [1928]

G. K. Chesterton But his face, amid all these quixotic relics, appeared curiously keen and modern — a powerful, legal face. The Club of Queer Trades by G. K. Chesterton [1905]

It was a blow to her as keen as the other had been. East Lynne by Ellen Wood [1861]

Martin had a keen sense of his personality: he felt it right and sensible that the girl should discriminate him from his brothers. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

D. H. Lawrence But he was very happy and keen in his new public spirit. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

He had not his wife’s keen interest in the joys and sorrows of other people. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

Theodore Dreiser He was drawn by such a keen desire for Carrie, driven by such a state of turmoil in his own affairs that he thought constantly it would be best, and yet he wavered. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Jules Verne Gifted with extremely keen sight — as are all these wandering tribes accustomed to the long dark Polar nights — she felt sure that she was not mistaken. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

Andrew Lang Now witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but, like beasts, they have a keen sense of smell, and know when human beings pass by. The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

William Hope Hodgson Yet we were mightily keen to know even so much as such odd scraps might tell unto us. The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” by William Hope Hodgson

Robert Louis Stevenson Keen pleasure and keen grief Give place to great relief: Farewell my tears! Still sounds toward me float; I hear the bird’s small note, Sheep from the far sheepcote, And lowing steers. New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson

And she appreciated it; her mind bristled with keen points, upon which any ideas let loose were caught in a flash. Unveiling a Parallel by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant [1893]

Tall and spare, with a keen intellectual face and wearing small pince-nez, he was a smartly dressed man in the middle forties. The Grave-digger of Monks Arden by Arthur Gask [1938]

Margaret Oliphant It’s not that I am keen for my bed—if your lordship would like me to bide, or even to take a doze upon a chair——” “Go to bed, old Sym.,” said the young man with a laugh. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Jules Verne Heavy clouds driven by a keen eastern wind covered the entire sky. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

Arthur Conan Doyle He retained his keen scent of what was good copy, and it was this sense of his which caused him one winter morning to summon Malone to his presence. The Land of Mist by Arthur Conan Doyle [1926]

These lora are armed with definitely spaced whorls of recurved hooks, keen as needles, true as steel, about one-eighth of an inch long. Tropic Days by E. J. Banfield

Lucy,” continued Brandon, fixing his keen eyes on his niece, “have you no ambition — have power and pomp and place no charm for your mind?” “None!” said Lucy, quietly and simply. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

M. R. James He was the caretaker stationed there, and his keen old eyes had managed to descry through the mist that something was wrong. A Warning to the Curious and other ghost stories by M. R. James

Anthony Trollope Mr Low was very keen against such boroughs as Loughton, declaring that Mr Daubeny was quite right to join his standard to that of Mr Turnbull on such an issue. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

D. H. Lawrence But he held on her unrelaxed, with an almost mechanical relentlessness, keen as a sword pressing in to her. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Once or twice we drifted into talk, and I can remember that more than once he expressed a keen interest in my methods of observation and inference. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

Henry James When the order had been given, she remarked, “I see I shall have much less keen emotion than when I acted by myself. The Princess Casamassima by Henry James [1886]

Her spirits rose with a keen instinct that assured her she would win, if it were only a matter of a race with them. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

She’s as keen on this job as I am. The Island of Sheep by John Buchan [1936]

G. K. Chesterton Great excitement and keen anticipation prevailed at the meeting, but these feelings changed to bewilderment as the lecture proceeded. Tales of the Long Bow by G. K. Chesterton [1925]

On business he was as clear and keen as in his best days. Sir Walter Scott by Richard H. Hutton [1878]

Willa Cather Suddenly, as though he felt the young sculptor’s keen glance, Jim Laird opened his eyes. Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Cather [1920]

Gertrude Stein He was a gentle soul, Valloton, with a keen wit and a great deal of ambition but a feeling of impotence, the result of being the brother-in-law of picture dealers. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein [1933]

His mind was as keen as a keen sword. Space by John Buchan [1911]

Nathaniel Hawthorne When the old man had read a page in his book of fate, he bent his keen gray eyes on mine and proceeded to relate in all its minute particulars what was then the most singular event of my life. Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1842]

Washington Irving The morn was cold: he views with keen desire A rusty grate unconscious of a fire; An unpaid reckoning on the frieze was scored, And five crack’d teacups dress’d the chimney board. The Life of Oliver Goldsmith by Washington Irving [1840]

This strongly built, ill-dressed man, with his keen brown deeply scarred face and crooked mouth, was unknown to her. Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley [1899]

Her pale, colorless eyes were as keen as ever. Sir Charles Danvers by Mary Cholmondeley [1889]

A keen cry from Julia’s heart made every heart there quiver, and in a moment she was clinging and sobbing on her father’s neck. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

William Hope Hodgson Also, I knew how quickly his keen ears would detect the presence of any unwelcome creature, should there be such, amid the darkness that wrapped us. The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

This time, political cunning, as keen as it was, made a mistake; this color was not caused by the bashfulness of a juvenile passion, but only by the painful contraction of the royal pride. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

His face is wild and keen like a sea-eagle’s, and from his bristling brows the eyes dart glances sharp as a glancing spear. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison [1922]

The old boy’s seventy-live, and weak and shaky in his legs, but in his mind he’s as keen and alert as he ever was and, except in the matter of his paintings, he’s a shrewd and capable old man. The Hidden Door by Arthur Gask [1934]

His ears are open to the least sound, while his eye, keen as that of the lynx, is employed in finding out the game in the thickest shade. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

George Gissing How was it suggested to you?” Constance asked the question so directly, and with so keen a look, that she all but disconcerted the philosopher. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Ralph Waldo Emerson The succession of native plants in the pastures and roadsides, which makes the silent clock by which time tells the summer hours, will make even the divisions of the day sensible to a keen observer. Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1836]

Arthur Conan Doyle The air was calm, full of the eternal hum of insects, a tropical chorus of many octaves, from the deep drone of the bee to the high, keen pipe of the mosquito. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

Jules Verne They raised the curtains of the awning, and he inhaled with delight the keen morning air. Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne [1869]

E. T. A. Hoffmann Later I experienced to the full and with keen consciousness in what a state of crushing want and of deep distress my parents lived. Mademoiselle De Scudéri by E. T. A. Hoffmann

D.H. Lawrence He kissed her hair, which was beautifully fragrant of itself, and time after time drew between his lips one long, keen thread, as if he would ravel out with his mouth her vigorous confusion of hair. The Trespasser by D.H. Lawrence

R. D. Blackmore For now a debate of some vigor was arising upon a momentous and exciting point, though not so keen by a hundredth part as it would have been twenty years afterward. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

George Meredith Her keen apprehension of the price payable for his benevolent intentions caught scent of them in the air. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

Arthur Conan Doyle He was a man of a practical turn of mind, keen in his dealings and skilful with his hands. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle [1887]

Arthur Conan Doyle They were carefully examined, and showed that he was a keen student of international politics, an indefatigable gossip, a remarkable linguist, and an untiring letter writer. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

It was long, keen and beautifully curved, but not a ray of light was in the room to fall upon it, and the yellow hand had to feel its bright blade to find whether the curve ran from or towards it. Limehouse Nights by Thomas Burke

Rudyard Kipling I went straight from that house to Burry Mills Hydro, keen for the first time in my life on playing golf, which is guaranteed to occupy the mind. Actions and Reactions by Rudyard Kipling [1909]

D. H. Lawrence They went over the field, where a thin, keen wind blew round the ball of the hill, in the starlight. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

George Meredith He had tossed her to Vernon in his mind, not only painlessly, but with a keen acid of satisfaction. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]

Elizabeth Gaskell Lois had taken a keen interest in all the proceedings for Faith’s sake — far more than the latter did for herself, any spectator would have said. Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell [1859]

Arnold Bennett But he never would, though a keen satirical critic of the Local Board in private. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

Sometimes she remembered that she had suffered keen anguish, when he hesitated in his choice. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

H. G. Wells A keen King, indifferent to feminine influence, may, for a time, make a keen nation, but that is an exceptional state of affairs, and the whole shape of the fabric gravitates towards relapse. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

Rudyard Kipling A lady passenger’s nose began to bleed, and other ladies threw themselves down on the seats and gasped with the gasping train, while a wind as keen as a knife-edge rioted down the grimy tunnel. From Sea to Sea by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

George Meredith At any rate, Rose is satisfied, and her self-love makes her a keen critic. Evan Harrington by George Meredith [1861]

Charles Kingsley There is a keen practical insight about him, rarely combined, in these days, with his single-minded determination to do good in his generation. Burns and His School by Charles Kingsley

Jonathan Swift This was a prospect so very inviting that, to confess the truth, it could not be easily withstood by any who have so keen an appetite for wealth or power. On the Conduct of the Allies by Jonathan Swift [1711]

Anthony Trollope When he got up in the morning he was quite as keen about it as he had been on the previous evening and as he thought about it the more, he became keener and still more keen. The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

Charles Kingsley Tom was no artist, and knew no more of painting, in spite of his old friendship with Claude, than was to be expected of a keen and observant naturalist who had seen half the globe. Two Years Ago by Charles Kingsley

Anthony Trollope The Duchess, newly a duchess then and very keen in reference to her husband’s rank, had instigated him to demand the ribbon as his right. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Edith Wharton But he had been in the saddle since dawn, and the keen air and the long hours of riding were in his blood. The Valley of Decision by Edith Wharton [1902]

It required a keen sense of duty for him to stay at his post; and when in December 1891 he was appointed to the Embassy at Rome, he was very willing to go. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

Abraham Merri McKay had felt as though the keen edge had bitten into his own flesh. The Woman of the Wood by Abraham Merri

George Meredith His keen little eyes were busy in his flat bird’s head all the time Heriot continued writing. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

It was a keen physical feeling, like nothing I had ever felt before. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

Arthur Conan Doyle At last he gasped out: “Ghoolab Shah’ Who are you who know Ghoolab Shah?” “Take another look,” said the tramp, “your sight is not as keen as it was forty years ago. The Mystery of Cloomber by Arthur Conan Doyle [1889]

E. Phillips Oppenheim And with it all Harvey was finding, as he realised during those breathless moments, a keen and unexpected pleasure in this new pursuit of his. Harvey Garrard's Crime by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1926]

There was his readiness too! Amazing. And all this had come to him in a manner like keen scent to a well-bred hound. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

E. Phillips Oppenheim His keen eyes were fixed upon Grace. “My information, madam,” he remarked, “is that it was you who first gave information to the police that the bonds were not forthcoming. Harvey Garrard's Crime by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1926]

Margaret Oliphant Of course you were at Auchnasheen? I have been weeks there, with the late lord—and at the old castle too,” he added, with a keen look. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Henry James His eyes, large and deep-set, had a kind of auburn glow, the suggestion of a keen metal red-hot — or, more plainly, were full of temper and spirit. A Passionate Pilgrim by Henry James [1871]

There ‘s a lesson for you, man! We ought to have learned it, our wits ought to have been sharpened by now; but we are not keen enough yet. My Childhood by Maksim Gorky

H. G. Wells Wonder what I ought to do about ’im?” He surveyed the trees with a keen blue eye and fingered the gun on his knee. The War in the Air by H. G. Wells [1908]

Rudyard Kipling He is a keen son of the sword. The Eyes of Asia by Rudyard Kipling [1918]

Edith Wharton But his disappointment was too keen to be denied, and after a pause he said: “Could I not speak with Mrs. Westmore later?” Mr. Tredegar’s cool survey deepened to a frown. Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton [1907]

William Morris He looked on her a little and then turned away, and saw her sword lying on the grass; so he went to it and picked it up and brought it to her, and said: Thou mayst yet need this keen friend. The Water of the Wondrous Isles by William Morris [1897]

Olaf Stapledon He was no longer the keen driver that he had been, but he still found motoring agreeable. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Then his first feeling was one of keen disappointment, for the man looked very different from the photograph of Oscar Bascoigne, taken fifteen and a half years ago. The Hangman’s Knot by Arthur Gask [1935]

E. F. Benson To differ from you gives me keen pain. Charlotte Bronte by E. F. Benson [1932]

Boris leaned against the door of his studio, looking down, his hands in his pockets, his kind, keen eyes clouded, a new line of trouble drawn “over the mouth’s good mark, that made the smile. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Robert Green Ingersoll Humor sees both sides, while reason is the holy light; humor carries the lantern and the man with a keen sense of humor is preserved from the solemn stupidities of superstition. What shall we do to be Saved? by Robert Green Ingersoll

As boys, Max and I had been keen pistol shots, and I was quite prepared when I reached this part of his narrative to find that he had imitated Moreas’ example and destroyed the target. ’Long Live the King!’ by Guy Boothby [1900]

George Meredith Wilfrid had the sagacity to perceive, and the keen apprehension of ridicule to shrink from, the picture. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

He is quite an enthusiast, you know, and uncommonly keen to hear how the case develops. The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman [1911]

Now quick as the lightning-flash, now placid, or keen as the sharpest blade, are his thoughts. The March of Man by Maksim Gorky

Miles Franklin She turned energetically in her chair, and her keen eyes flashed with scorn and anger as she spoke. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

Abraham Merri They came on steadily, jeering at him, waving their keen blades. The Woman of the Wood by Abraham Merri

Willa Cather As she passed my table she often gave me a keen look and a half-smile (her eyes were extremely bright and clear), as if she were about to speak. Not Under Forty by Willa Cather [1936]

Margaret Oliphant It was the impulse of keen anguish, but it would not have become a discussion that was as serious as life and death. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Jacques Futrelle Mr. Czenki met the accusing stare of the chief squarely for an instant, then the keen eyes shifted to the slightly flushed face of Mr. Birnes and lingered there interrogatively. The Diamond Master by Jacques Futrelle [1909]

On arriving upstairs, her aunt gave her a keen stare. The Haunted Woman by David Lindsay [1922]

Arnold Bennett Yet Edwin was more than ever conscious of a keen desire to telegraph at once. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Elizabeth Gaskell It was Mr. Roger he seemed so keen after. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [1865]

He was as keen as knives to show us how he could take care of his purple diamonds; and, do you know, Bunny, I was as keen as knives to see. The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung [1899]

Before my little girl is four years older, you will be a man, Arundel — with a man’s intellect, a man’s courage, and, above all, a man’s keen sense of honour. John Marchmont’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Stay! — what was that? Her keen set ears caught some scarcely uttered sound. Tom Ossington’s Ghost by Richard Marsh [1898]

But some days’ inaction had made me keen for a chance of sport, so I rose with the shepherd and set out for the day. No-Man’s-Land by John Buchan [1899]

Vandeloup smoothed his moustache, and looked at the doctor with a keen glance. Madame Midas by Fergus Hume

Arthur Conan Doyle Think of Anglo-German competition, for example — or the Persian Gulf that my old chief was so keen about. The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle [1913]

His keen eye and swift brain made him too impatient of the shortcomings of conscientious officials. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

He gave them inexhaustible pity and love, the compassion that is only possible to a man of keen imagination and quick sympathies. The Infidel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1900]

Marjorie Bowen For the first time in her life she found that her usual cool, keen consideration of her own interests were confused by a rising passion. Forget-me-not by Marjorie Bowen [1932]

Arnold Bennett In her glittering keen eyes were both envy and naïve admiration of her brother. These Twain by Arnold Bennett [1916]

All that he said might be true, but I thought I could detect in his voice a keen regret, and in his air a touch of disquiet. Prester John by John Buchan

Edith Wharton Profound kindness and keen intelligence are too seldom blent in the same person for a word to have been coined describing that rare combination. A Backward Glance by Edith Wharton [1934]

Elizabeth Gaskell Philip stood by silent, thinking, as well as he could, for his keen sympathy with their grief, what had best be done next. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell [1863]

Rudyard Kipling Hicksey used to lend me six or eight of them when I asked him — nippy little devils, keen as mustard. Many Inventions by Rudyard Kipling [1893]

Anthony Trollope They may ride one after another, and that, indeed, suffices for many a keen sportsman; but I am now addressing the youth who is ambitious of riding to hounds. Hunting Sketches by Anthony Trollope

Fanny Fern While Ruth was talking, Mr. Walter’s keen eye glanced about the room, noting its general comfortless appearance, and the little bowl of bread and milk that stood waiting for their supper. Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern [1854]

Wilkie Collins Mrs. Payson, observing him with a woman’s keen sympathy, relented a little. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Arthur Conan Doyle Edward at that time was a well-grown, vigorous man in the very prime of his years, a keen sportsman, an ardent gallant and a chivalrous soldier. Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle [1906]

D. H. Lawrence His soul was keen and watchful, glittering with a kind of amusement. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

Henry Kingsley She’s raising the keen over the cold hearthstone. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

Henry James The keen resentment had faded from his face, but an immense reproach was there — a heavy, helpless, appealing reproach. Confidence by Henry James [1879]

Arthur Conan Doyle Just on the skirts of the throng, with bent bodies and hands on knees, stand the cool little quarter-backs, watching the gasping giants, and also keeping a keen eye upon each other. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

George Gissing The glance led him to observe Miriam’s gait; its grace and refinement gave him a sudden sensation of keen pleasure. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

That is, for him whose family are not present in the Sacred Mosque; and fear God and know that God is keen to punish. The Qur'an by translated by E. H. Palmer

Algernon Blackwood He skated on and on, keen exhilarating pleasure in his tingling blood, and weariness all forgotten. The Glamour of the Snow by Algernon Blackwood

As I watched the pendulum and saw its movements slowly die away, I was sensible of a pang of keen disappointment. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]

Thomas Hardy That Venn’s keen eye had discerned what Yeobright’s feeble vision had not — a man in the act of withdrawing from Eustacia’s side — was within the limits of the probable. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

They were bristling and terrible, and each bite from those great, keen jaws was woe to the beast that received it. Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens

Jack London As I passed him, I shot a keen look at his face; then I whirled around abruptly and confronted — the Bishop. He halted with equal abruptness, and gasped. The Iron Heel by Jack London [1908]

Augustine Birrell The question was, who should begin? Cromwell, who had hurried home from Ireland, Lambert, and Harrison were all keen to strike the first blow. Andrew Marvell by Augustine Birrell [1905]

George Gissing Travel, on the other hand, is largely represented; the general appetite for information about lands remote would appear to be only less keen than for the adventures of romance. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing [1902]

George Meredith After breakfast on the morning of the 17th Seymour Austin looked her in the eyes longer than it is customary for ladies to have to submit to keen inspection. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Those who misbelieve, for them is keen torment. The Qur'an by translated by E. H. Palmer

That bees have a keen perception of colour is certain. The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Jack London On the other hand, there was keen intimacy between the dog and the man. Lost Face by Jack London

He was a voluminous writer, and a keen and acrimonious controversialist against the Puritans. Among his works are a History of the Reformation, and a Life of Laud (Cyprianus Anglicanus) (1668). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin [1910]

Arthur Conan Doyle And now it was destined that they should experience the one keen sensation of their later years, the one memorable incident from which all future incidents should be dated. Beyond the City by Arthur Conan Doyle [1892]

Theodore Dreiser Mrs. Gerhardt always had had a keen desire for a really comfortable home. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Elodia’s eyes rested upon her, from time to time, with a keen and questioning interest. Unveiling a Parallel by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant [1893]

George Meredith The regular ones must see features: we mustn’t be too cunning with them, else they grow suspicious: they’re keen as animals; they are. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

Olaf Stapledon Sometimes the concord of the race was broken by a keen but never a vindictive dispute about some matter which lay beyond my understanding. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

M. P. Shiel So, however, it was: and the next morning I was at it again after an early breakfast, my fingers at first quite stiff with cold, for it blew a keen and January gale. The Purple Cloud by M. P. Shiel [1901]

George Gilfillan A keen politician he was not; but, so far as he went along with his party, he was true to the common cause. Life of Alexander Pope by George Gilfillan

This joke was likely to last Ellis a long time; his jokes usually did; and there was nothing that gave him quite so keen a pleasure as dragging a woman’s name through mud. Burmese Days by George Orwell

Accordingly, with goodwill, she removed to her new quarters, and soon made the house look keen and cosy. A Book of Ghosts by S. Baring-Gould [1904]

D. H. Lawrence Are you as keen on innocence as Manfredi is?” “Innocence?” said Aaron. “It’s the sort of thing I don’t have much feeling about. Aaron’s Rod by D. H. Lawrence

E. T. A. Hoffmann Then the music of a violin was heard chiming in and entering upon a keen ardent contest with the voice. The Cremona Violin by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Suspense was everywhere; the moments dragged like hours; it became so keen at last that some impatient hearts could no longer stand it. Initials Only by Anna Katharine Green

THOUGH the great song return no more There’s keen delight in what we have: The rattle of pebbles on the shore Under the receding wave. Collected Poems by William Butler Yeats

Mary Webb It did not matter with him, but Edward — it was everything to her in Edward. Only once there had been a keen look of criticism in Edward’s eyes, and her heart had fluttered. Gone to Earth by Mary Webb [1917]

He was a keen rock-climber, but, curiously enough, he had never a very good head. Space by John Buchan [1911]

William Hope Hodgson But, as I shall here explain; after that time, I kept mine ears newly keen unto hearing; and did chide my Spirit, for that it had not taken account of that Sound a great while earlier. The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

Anthony Trollope Her craft remained with her; but so keen was her outlook upon the world, that she was beginning to perceive that craft, let it be never so crafty, will in the long run miss its own object. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

Frances Hodgson Burnett Her whole being was a keen fine awareness. The Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett [1922]

George Gissing Ada would not have spoken thus at another time and place just now she was enjoying the sense of full life, quickened in her veins by the run in keen air. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

Rudyard Kipling He met Rhoda’s keen old eyes without flinching; and the drawing-room looked very comfortable that wet evening at tea. A Diversity of Creatures by Rudyard Kipling [1917]

G. K. Chesterton Both, of course, were typically medieval crafts, and Morris was very keen on both of them. The Return of Don Quixote by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

Edith Wharton Archer wondered how many flaws Lefferts’s keen eyes would discover in the ritual of his divinity; then he suddenly recalled that he too had once thought such questions important. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton [1920]

Arthur Conan Doyle I zigzagged up the steep pathway, breathing in the thin, keen morning air, and humming a lilt as I went, until I came out, a little short of breath, among the whins upon the top. The Great Shadow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1892]

George MacDonald As I was turning my ring about to catch the response of the star to the sun, I spied a keen black eye gazing at me out of the milky misty blue. Lilith by George MacDonald

Augustine Birrell The Duke of York, who took the command, was a keen sailor, though his unhappy notions as to patronage, and its exercise, were fatal to an efficient service. Andrew Marvell by Augustine Birrell [1905]

George Meredith He knew exactly the method of fighting which Angelo must adopt, and he saw that his adversary was supple, and sinewy, and very keen of eye. Vittoria by George Meredith [1867]

Theodore Dreiser Yet, with that instinct for the essential and vital which invariably possessed him, he gained a keen impression of it. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Edith Wharton A keen sense of copyright is my nearest approach to an emotion. Crucial Instances by Edith Wharton [1901]

E. F. Benson As to our test, I think they were both quite as keen as ever, and for myself I never had a more enjoyable game. Trouble for Lucia by E. F. Benson [1939]

George Eliot Some were in close and eager discussion; others were listening with keen interest to a single spokesman, and yet from time to time turned round with a scanning glance at any new passer-by. Romola by George Eliot [1862-3]

Your Leighton has grace, and a keen feeling for beauty, but he is cold and shadowy. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

There was something about the eye of the man before me, something so keen and knowledgeable, that I could not find a word. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan [1915]

George Gissing Mrs. Damerel, her bright eyes subduing their gaiety to a keen reflectiveness, put several questions regarding the invalid, then for a moment meditated. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

It was a keen winter night and snow was packed upon the walks in a way to throw into sharp relief the figures of such pedestrians as happened to be walking alone. Initials Only by Anna Katharine Green

George Gissing Shall I continue to read, Mr. Gresham?” For a moment the artist’s lips worked, as if under some keen inward emotion, and once he raised his eyes with a serious expression, seeming about to speak. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

R. D. Blackmore The keen wind following the curves of land, and shaking the fringe of every white-clad bush, piped (like a boy through a comb) wherever stock or stub divided it. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

Arnold Bennett Her sympathy for Sarah Gailey was as keen as ever, but it had a different quality — an anguish less desolating. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

George Meredith There was grief at Court for one so gay, Though he was a lord less keen For training the vine than at vintage-press; But in her soul the young princess Believed that love had been. Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life by George Meredith [1887]

Sergius’ eyes were keen as well as pleasant, his mouth was set in firmer lines, and his chin was of a squarish and very determined shape. Nightmare! by Francis Stevens

H. Rider Haggard Some years later, when she was a sweet maiden of eighteen, her mother died, but medical competition was keen in Sherborne Lane, and her removal did not greatly alleviate the pressure of poverty. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

At Naples, he had acquired a keen interest in the study of antiquity, he made excavations; this new passion had almost taken the place of his passion for horses. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

Algernon Blackwood His keen insight, operating in spite of himself, had read her clearly. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

Arthur Conan Doyle You know his way when he is keen on a case. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1927]

Arthur Conan Doyle The Nihilist brought up the rear with his keen eye fixed upon the navvy, and his knife still ready for use. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

His keen scent for speculation served him admirably. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

Louisa May Alcott Her keen eyes filled, and when she spoke again, it was in a voice that could be beautifully soft and kind when she chose to make it so. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

Robert Louis Stevenson My visitor, who had watched these metamorphoses with a keen eye, smiled, set down the glass upon the table, and then turned and looked upon me with an air of scrutiny. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson [1886]

If he was as keen as that he would at least have his own pet lures with him, even if he was going to be lent a rod. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey [1952]

Mrs Creevy was particularly keen on handwriting. A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

H.P. Lovecraft Once in a while, as before mentioned, a keen mind would escape death by forward projection in time; but such cases were not numerous. The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft [1935]

George Meredith Nick is the wicketkeeper of the Beckley eleven; long-limbed, wiry, keen of eye. Evan Harrington by George Meredith [1861]

John Morley Voltaire, in this as in too much besides, was content with a keen and rapid glance at the surface. Voltaire by John Morley

The sweet, keen breeze made me shiver, and the northern sky, from which my blinding southern sun was blazing, was as hard as sapphire. Literature and Life by William Dean Howells

Arthur Morrison My grandfather stopped his talk as we drew within earshot of the fiddler; but blind men’s ears are keen beyond the common. The Hole in the Wall by Arthur Morrison

James Joyce A keen east wind hit them, blowing from the mouth of the river. Dubliners by James Joyce

Rudyard Kipling I am well contented with Fate. With good luck, a keen eye, and the custom of considering whether a creek or a backwater has an outlet to it ere you ascend, much may be done. The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling [1895]

Sinclair Lewis He picked out a keen old man and tried to make him laugh and marvel. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis [1925]

Arnold Bennett It isn’t that I care so much as all that about losing a couple of boarders, and I’m not specially keen on the Boutwoods. But it wouldn’t do! It’s the wrong principle. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

You can, and without rousing his suspicion, keen as they all say he is. The House of the Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green

I was, as Evelyn had said, keen in those days and full of resources, and I easily managed it. The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green

Theodore Dreiser And Jennie, a woman, took a keen pleasure in the handsome gowns and pretty fripperies that he lavished upon her. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser