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

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A novel idea

Saturday, October 30th., Cadogan Square, London.

I began to think more seriously about the plan of my new novel. I had already got the moral background for it: the dissatisfaction of a successful and rich man with his own secret state of discontent and with the evils of the age. I wanted a frame. I walked about three miles this morning, and about a mile after tea, without getting a really satisfactory idea; then as I was lolling in my 'easy' about 6.30, I suddenly thought that I would extend the role of the train de luxe, which I had thought of for the scene of the opening of the story, to be the scene of the whole of the novel - so that the entire time-space of the novel will only be about thirty hours or so. I didn't go any farther than this; I had enough for the day.

Then quite a lot of reading of Ludwig on the Kaiser. This seems to be rather a great book.

Wilhelm Hohenzollern by Emil Ludwig (1926)
This book is a portrait of William the Second and does not tell the whole story of his life. For fairness' sake, the author designed to let no adversary of the Emperor bear witness, but constructed his portrait wholly from William's own deed and words, together with the reports of those who stood in close relation to him and who give strikingly similar answers to the psychical questions involved. In short, this work is an attempt to trace from the idiosyncrasies of a monarch the direct evolution of international political events and the course of his country's destiny.

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