There are so many examples to choose from it's difficult to know where to start. If you check any national newspaper on any day of the week, you'll find sentences beginning with 'and' on nearly every page. Open any novel, and they'll be there in any chapter. So, given that as a casual reader, you're never more than a few sentences away from one starting with 'and', we thought we'd collect here only the real humdingers. The examples that make you sit up and go 'blimey, there's even a sentence starting with 'and' there!' We'd love your contributions. So, do get in touch.
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day.’
Genesis, Chapter 1, The King James Bible
‘Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.’
The US Constitution Article. IV, Section 1
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
William Blake, 'Jerusalem', from 'Preface to Milton a Poem', 1810
St Kevin and the blackbird
And then there was St Kevin and the blackbird.
The saint is kneeling, arms stretched out, inside
His cell, but the cell is narrow, so
Seamus Heaney. 'St Kevin and the blackbird' (first verse), from the collection Spirit Level, Faber 1996.
'Nevertheless that a male dissembler who by deluging her with untenable fictions charms the female wisely, may acquire powers reaching to the extremity of perdition, is a truth taught to many by unsought and wringing occurences. And some profess to have attained the same knowledge by experiment and aforesaid, and jauntily continue their indulgence in such experiments with terrible effect. Sergeant Troy was one.
Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd, 1874
And thus they live unto hir lives ende
In parfit joye; and Jhesu Crist us sende
Housbondes meeke, yonge, and fressh abedde.
And grace t'overbide her that we wedde;
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Canterbury Tales c1405-1410
'The happiness anticipated by Catherine and Lydia depended less on any single event, or any particular person; for though they each, like Elizabeth, meant to dance half the evening with Mr. Wickham, he was by no means the only partner who could satisfy them, and a ball was, at any rate, a ball. And even Mary could assure her family that she had no disinclination for it.'
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1813
A devil, a born devil on whose nature
Nurture can never stick, on whom my pains,
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost.
And as with age his body uglier grows,
So his mind cankers. I will plague them all,
Even to roaring.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act IV, scene I.
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes – a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have hekd his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther… And one fine morning –
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F Scott Fitzgerald, (the last page of) The Great Gatsby, 1925.