We drove down to Easton Glebe to see Jane Wells.
Frank Wells was there with fiancee Peggy, and Gyp with wife Marjorie. Jane was too ill to come down or to see anyone. H.G. was visibly very much upset indeed. The Hugh Byngs came to lunch too. I think H.G. likes a lot of people to distract him. We played a bit of ball game in the barn, but not H.G. nor Marjorie.
Basil Dean and Lady Mercy called in about 3.30.
I have recently been reading David Lodge's book "A Man of Parts" in which he imagines an ailing H.G. sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, looking back on a life crowded with incident, books and women. Lodge depicts a man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence; an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womaniser. The book seems to be to be well constructed, well imagined and largely accurate, and yet it is dull - and H.G. was never dull!
I have recently been writing to H.G. to recommend that he consult Raphael Roche about Jane's cancer. Roche made a favourable impression on me when I talked to him for two hours in July. He does not claim any cure but does suggest that his 'treatment' is, at the least, an effective palliative; what is there to lose?
I read most of Jack's (sic) "The New Germany" in the afternoon and evening.
Still going on with Gibbon.