I read these from True Pleasures by Lucinda Holdforth:
"My bed is dressed in lemon-scented white linen, big fluffy pillows for reading, space in the cupboard for my clothes and books, even flowers and a quaint history of the Marais district on my bedside table."
What does "a quaint history" here mean? Is it a history book on the narrator's bedside table?
Yes, you are right with your suggestion.
"I lie on the white bed as the muted Parisian light flickers through the window and the progressively more purposeful street noises rise up."
What does "purposeful" mean in this context?
I think it alludes to the car drivers and other people, who are in the street. The day is beginning, people are going to work by car or by public transport. So the noise rises up, and/because people are on their way to their working places (--> purposeful)
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