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

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Friday, 15 November 2013


Monday, November 15th., Villa des Nefliers, Fontainebleau.

A grand, wet, gloomy, foggy day. I went out at 4.30 for a walk for an hour and a half, and it rained nearly all the time. It was dark when I re-entered the town from the Carrefour de l'Obelisque, and got from under the dripping trees. I was damp, but I stood, chilling, to look at bookshops. During this promenade I cleared my ideas considerably for the novel - of which I still lack a title.

This morning I received a copy of the third American edition (the first printed in America) of "The Old Wives' Tale". Very ugly and they have had the damned cheek to put "A novel of life" on the title-page.

I have been re-reading "Teresa of Watling Street". The reviews when it was published rather surprised me. For example Today thoroughly recommended it as a pleasurable mystery story, and Black and White thought it was "well and vividly written". On the other hand the Academy said it was "a farrago of improbable detective adventure that the merest tiro might write ...", and the Manchester Guardian described it as "readable trash". It is readable; I found myself quite carried along by the fast-paced story, but trash (if well-written trash) it certainly is. At times, whilst reading, I thought it had comic potential, and once or twice I laughed out loud, which made me think that I might have actually made it a comic novel along the lines of "The Card". 

Additionally for November 15th., see 'Cast aside' -

My resignation from Ministry took effect yesterday. Buchan, the liquidator, came down to see me, and was very explanatory and apologetic. The behaviour of the Cabinet to me was of course scandalous. But they have treated many others similarly, so I was not surprised. The only notice I got was a Roneo'd copy of the War Cabinet minute. I was never consulted in any way.

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