I’ll be heading north to Stoke tomorrow, for the conference on Arnold Bennett and H.G.Wells, where I’ll be giving a paper about those two unappreciated works, Wells’s Boon and Bennett’s The Roll-Call.
Looking for a picture of Bennett to put on my PowerPoint slide, I came across this drawing by Max Beerbohm. I think Max found Bennett hard to draw. He once invited him to lunch so that he could verify his likeness. “For, in the rough sketches I have done, you come out looking exactly like Apollo’s long-lost brother, and though I am sure my memory doesn’t deceive me I want to get a diferent sort of effect. In fact, I want to make a ‘distortion’, and only by seeing you with my eyes can I find some way of making this distortion without altogether losing the likeness.”
These sketches are very un-Apollonian, but in the main drawing, Max gives Bennett a fine swagger.