Yesterday lunch with Thomas Vaughan, partner in god knows how many theatres, Marguerite and Gilbert Miller also. This lunch must have cost Tommy £10. The beefsteak was a failure.
Last night a dinner, organised by Albert Rutherston to Nigel Playfair, to mark his departure to U.S.A. to produce "The Beggar's Opera" there. Milne was in the chair, and made a brilliant sort of speech full of jokes proposing Nigel's health. The speeches were too few, and too short, and after them there was an anticlimax.
This morning at 12.30 I finished the writing of my first film. I have temporarily called it "The Wedding Dress". It has taken 25 days, out of which I was ill on 7 days and did nothing whatever. I should estimate that the MS. is about 10,000 words.
Arnold Bennett’s daughter discovered the manuscript of "The Wedding Dress" in a drawer at her Paris home in 1984. This lost work has now been published for the first time. Bennett wrote "The Wedding Dress" in 1920 as a film scenario, for a major American film company, but it never went into production. It is a sparkling tale of the romantic entanglements of four lovers, set amidst a grand country house and its grounds, a departmental store, hotels and hospital wards in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. Bennett uses all his characteristic wit and inventiveness to tell the tale of how the confused lovers come to realise their true feelings. Whilst lively and vastly entertaining, "The Wedding Dress" does not neglect the post-War social scene and some of the harsh economic realities of the time.
I have for some time been concerned about the plight of disabled soldiers. In 1917 I wrote a pamphlet entitled "A National Responsibility". It was apparent to me then that every day disabled and otherwise unfit men were being discharged from the army, and thrown on the world, not because the state had done all it could and ought to do for them, but because the army had no further use for them. After being called heroes in the newspapers they were dismissed from the service of the state while the nation was still in their debt. And the nation is still in their debt. I am seeking to interest Lord Rothermere in this issue as it is vital for the success of any scheme to aid ex-service people that a powerful daily be involved, and the Mirror is indicated.
Having been occupied with politics more or less for two days, I quite forgot to take current notes. I pulled myself together and began again this morning.