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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 1, Chapter 2 Summary

  • Humbert was born in Paris in 1910, a mixture of Swiss, French, and Austrian descent.
  • His father owned a luxury hotel on the Riviera, where he was raised with the help of an aunt, Sybil.
  • His beautiful mother met her death in an accident, which he describes in two parenthetical words: "(picnic, lightning)" (1.2.1).
  • The hotel was a lovely place to grow up.
  • Humbert attended an English day school near the hotel.
  • Then he met Annabel. Before her, his sexual experiences involved French movies and enjoying some French book he stole from the hotel library.
  • So back to Annabel. When he met her, Humbert was alone, with no one to consult about matters of sex, as his father was off on a trip.

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