Category Archives: novels

Arnold Bennett on Siegfried Sassoon

Bennett is discussing recent publications in the Evening Standard (11 Oct, 1928): ‘Anonymous’ (whose identity is amply revealed by internal evidence) has issued an autobiographical novel, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, of real importance. Written with a certain sporting negligence of composition, it has much originality and much beauty, and is certainly right past the […]

National Libraries Day

Regular readers of this blog may have twigged that a fair bit of the reading I mention here is actually re-reading. ‘Sapper’, Ian Hay, A.E.W. Mason, P.G. Wodehouse, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Leslie Charteris, George Bernard Shaw, G.K. Chesterton: these and others are writers whom I first read as a young teenager. Mostly I found […]

Middlebrow Wodehouse

I don’t think it’s on general sale yet, but my contributor’s copy of Middlebrow Wodehouse arrived on Saturday. I was very chuffed to see my chapter on Wodehouse and the First World War in print, in such a sturdy and attractive volume.

Paris

My favourite street in Paris is the Rue Christine. This evening we had dinner at the remarkable Christine restaurant (excellent confit of veal followed by an extraordinary mojito baba) and then crossed the road to the Action cinema for John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (about a group of British soldiers stranded in Mesopotamia after their […]

Ernest Raymond’s ‘The Quiet Shore’

Ernest Raymond’s novel of Gallipoli, Tell England was the great best-seller about the war in the early 1920s. It was reprinted fourteen times in 1922, and six times in 1923; by 1939 it had sold 300,000 copies, and subsequent editions stayed in print for forty years. Raymond returned to Gallipoli at least twice in later […]

Talbot Mundy… and the Magnet again

It’s India month at the Sheffield Popular Fiction Reading Group, and my report on Talbot Mundy’s King of the Khyber Rifles can now be read online on the group’s blog. Like Buchan’s Greenmantle, also published in 1916, this is a story about one man sent to combat a Turkish plan to inflame the Empire’s Muslims […]

‘Requiem’: Rose Allatini on Fitzroy Street

When Rose Allatini chose to publish Despised and Rejected under a different name, because of its sexual and political unorthodoxy, she chose for a pseudonym A. T. Fitzroy, after Fitzroy Street, where she was living. Requiem (1919), the novel she published after Despised and Rejected, gives an idea of what the name ‘Fitzroy’ meant to […]

Ernst Junger’s ‘Sturm’

Ernst Junger is best known for his 1920 memoir, Storm of Steel, but he wrote a good deal besides. The publishing firm Telos is issuing translations of several of his works, and the latest, published today, is Sturm, a novella of 1923. Telos kindly let me read the text before publication, and here is my […]

Lady Chatterley’s biscuits

I mentioned Lady Chatterley a few weeks back, and since then I’ve been thinking about her again. In fact I’ve won a prize with her. From time to time I enter the Spectator literary competitions, and a recent task was to imagine a scene from a famous novel if it had been sponsored by some […]

Mr Muller

I like this, from the Sunday Times of 1915:

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