"Clayhanger" was published in England on September 15th. In U.S.A. publication is delayed about a fortnight.
This time I will make notes on the newspaper criticisms of my novel. On day of publication, two. Times very good; well written. But a half-hidden unwillingness of admiration and of subjection. This sentence is well meant but quite wrong: "Its aim, not to exalt, or essentialise or satirise, but to present, life." A review nothing like as good as that of "The O.W.T." but still jolly good (9 inches). The other one on day of publication was in the Evening Standard. Entitled "Under the Microscope". A review full of clumsy but not malignant malice. On the whole a damn silly review (10 inches).
Day after publication. R.A. Scott James in the Daily News. "Mr. Bennett and the Ages".
Very sympathetic and appreciative. "A work that will surely be memorable." But the review was badly done, perhaps from haste. Well meant, but what damned rot and untruth. (1 col. 5 ins.)
Perfect review in Glasgow Herald on day of publication. Nothing could be more appreciative nor show more insight than this (12 ins.). D. Mail and Observer (9 ins. and 15 ins.). Usual rot about total absence of plot, and about cinematograph, and photograph, and that book might end anywhere or nowhere. "It is unsatisfying because life is" etc. And yet in all this a note of genuine appreciation.
Today a day of mild unpleasantness. The review of "Clayhanger" in m. Guardian, though good, was not as good as I had expected. I expected the eager sympathy of G.H. Mair and Co.!
The review was signed by strange initials ending in Y. Moreover it was placed after a review of M. Hewlett by Dixon Scott.
En voila une affaire!
A couple of years ago I said enthusiastically that if "Cupid and Commonsense" was produced in Hanley it would play to £500 in a week. To-day I got the figures for the three performances in Hanley. Total £75 13s. 10d.
Also I made a mess of another water colour. Hence depression, though my affairs are prospering as they never prospered before. Which shows how little content has to do with prosperity.