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

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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Terrific productiveness

Tuesday, January 11th., Royal York Hotel, Brighton.

Too excitingly busy just now to keep this journal every day. Hueffer telephoned me on Sunday at lunch-time asking me to do him a 3,000 word political article on the crisis for the 20th. The election is to be held on Thursday. In pursuance of my policy of never declining work that I am practically challenged to do, I accepted without a moment's reflection, though I knew that 12 guineas will be far from repaying me for my nervous expense on it.

On Monday morning the Sunday Chronicle telegraphed accepting my price of 10 guineas for an 1,800 word article. I posted the article to them tonight. And in the last two days I have also written 2,700 words of my novel. In fact, terrific productiveness!

Grand rolling weather. Foamy sea, boisterous wind, sun, pageant of clouds, and Brighton full of wealthy imperative persons dashing about in furs and cars. I walked with joy to and fro on this unequalled promenade. And yet, at this election time, when all wealth and all snobbery is leagued together against the poor, I could spit in the face of arrogant and unmerciful Brighton, sporting its damned Tory colours.

I heard the door-keeper of this hotel politely expostulating with a guest: "Surely Mr. ---, you don't mean to say you are anything but a conservative!" Miserable parrot. After reading some pessimistic forecasts of the election I was really quite depressed at tea-time. But I went upstairs and worked like a brilliant nigger, and counted nearly 5,000 words done in two days, and I forgot my depression.

Certainly this morning as I looked out at all the splendid solidity of Brighton, symbol of a system that is built on the grinding of the faces of the poor, I had to admit that it would take a lot of demolishing, that I couldn't expect to overset it with a single manifesto or a single election, or with fifty. So that even if the elections are lost, or are not won, I don't care. Besides, things never turn out as badly as our fears. It is only when one does not fear that they go so surprisingly and bafflingly wrong, as with the Socialists at the last German general election.

The United Kingdom general election of January 1910 was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget. The election produced a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party led by Arthur Balfour and their Liberal Unionist allies receiving the largest number of votes, but the Liberals led by H. H. Asquith winning the largest number of seats, returning two more MPs than the Conservatives. Asquith formed a government with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party, led by John Redmond. A second election was soon held in December. The Labour Party, led by Arthur Henderson, continued to gain strength, going from 29 seats to 40.

Additionally for January 11th., see 'Wartime privations' -

Marguerite bought a pig at the end of the year. It was a small one, but we have been eating this damned animal ever since, in all forms except ham which has not yet arrived. Brawn every morning for breakfast. Yesterday I struck at pig's feet for lunch, and had mutton instead. They are neither satisfying nor digestible, and one of the biggest frauds that ever came out of kitchens. All this a war measure, and justifiable.
I now no longer care whether I have sugar in my tea or not. We each have our receptacle containing the week's sugar, and use it how we like. It follows us about, wherever we happen to be taking anything that is likely to need sugar. My natural prudence makes me more sparing of mine than I need to be.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Just want to express my hearty appreciation
    of ALL the work involved in producing and
    maintaining this Arnold Bennett blog. I visit
    daily from the United States, eager to read
    fresh entries. Thanks kindly for your efforts!
    An Arnold Bennett aficionado who owns
    many of his books, including his journals…

  3. Thanks for your comment. There is a lot of work but it is a labour of love. Glad to know there is at least one other AB aficionado out there!