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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Exhausted. Especially with putting away books, dismantling the house, selecting all the necessary literary apparatus for our absence, packing it and my clothes, and smoking too much.
After tea I went up into the town, to see the Foire de Ste. Catherine. Too idle and bored to note features. Except these: Men singing songs - in set fashion - in order to sell the music. One man sang and accompanied himself on a sort of little organ. Another - an oldish man - had an orchestra of two behind him: rather an elaborate apparatus for so small a 'commerce'. Secondly a female quack, in mourning, stumping it from the box-seat of a large gaudily painted and gilded chariot. She spoke well and clearly in a quiet, carrying voice. Just as I paused in front of her for a moment, she said, holding up a bottle: "Nous avons ici un ver solitaire sorti d'un homme de 42 ans, qui a quinze metres de longueur."
H. W. Massingham wrote me yesterday inviting me to contribute to the Nation. No editorial invitation has ever flattered me as much as this. I regard the Nation as easily the best weekly and it gives me the liveliest pleasure to glance through it on Monday mornings, especially the advertisement of new books. He said he considered "The Old Wives' Tale" to be one of the one or two really great novels of the last thirty years.
See also 'A curious mixture', March 15th., -
Additionally for November 26th., see 'Country house politics' -
I read B.'s printed account of the conspiracy that overthrew Asquith in Dec. 1916. It was exceedingly well written, and showed great judgement of men and some sense of historical values. In fact it was remarkable and heightened my originally high opinion of Beaverbrook. The War Office and Ll. G. both came badly out of the account, especially the former. B.'s own share in the affair is kept very modestly in the background. He seemed almost inclined to publish it in the Daily Express. I advised him against this.