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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Praise and disappointment

Friday, May 27th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

Today I am 37. I have lived longer than I shall live. My new series begins to appear today in the Windsor. My name is not on the cover. Anthony Hope's stands there alone. And I am 37. Comment is needless.

The Windsor Magazine was a monthly illustrated publication produced by Ward Lock & Co from January 1895 to September 1939 (537 issues). The title page described it as "An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women".

I have now warned my mother and Tertia that I shall get married before I am 40.

My story in the Windsor is called "Nocturne at the Majestic" and I have warned Wells that, should he come across it, the least he could do was to think it very good! This because I praised, in a recent letter to him, his story "The Country of the Blind", which appeared in the April Strand. I thought the story really admirable if a little faint towards the end; but fundamentally damn good. Strangely enough, though I never met anyone who perceived the satiric quality in "The First Men in the Moon", I have met several who have spontaneously explained to me that the Strand story is a 'fine criticism of life'.

Wells, Whitten and Marriott think that "A Great Man", recently published, is my best book. And Phillpotts is enchanted with it. I was touched by Wells' praise, my only surprise being that he didn't find more fault with it. As a matter of fact I could have done it better, especially towards the end. But, having conceived it as a 'lark', I fell into the error of regarding it technically as a 'lark' also. I told Wells that it was just one writing, no draft, practically no erasures, & about two months' work at most. He always seems to prefer the work which costs me the least trouble. But what is the use of talking about colours to the blind?

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