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

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

The country life

Wednesday, February 22nd., Fulham Park Gardens, London.

On Friday I went down to Torquay to spend the weekend with Eden Phillpotts.

I found him settled in a decently large house (with several rooms about 20 feet square), with a charming wife, and two children, with whom he must play every evening in the nursery from 6 to 7, inventing new games, etc.

On Saturday Phillpotts and I went for a walk in the February mist. In a country lane, seeing some primrose roots lying in the road, he got suddenly angry with a person unknown, and carefully replanted the roots under a hedge. Both he and his brother ask nothing better than to potter about garden and greenhouse, diagnosing the case of every plant, noting minute changes, and discussing methods of treatment. For two days a rumour that a camellia was growing in the hedge of a certain garden in a certain street excited them until they proved to themselves satisfactorily that the rumour was wrong and the camellia only a rhododendron.

Today Tillotsons offered me £60 for the serial rights of "For Love and Life". I have asked them for £80, but £60 was the price I had myself thought of.

I left Phillpotts full of a desire to live in the country in a large house with plenty of servants, as he does, not working too hard, but working when and how one likes, at good rates. It can only be done by means of fiction. Perhaps the sale of this my first serial may be considered as a step in the right direction.

For more on Phillpotts see 'Eden and I' and 'Writing for a living'

Additionally for February 22nd., see 'A jolly visit'

What he would call a jolly little house. But it wouldn't suit me. Rooms too small, and windows too large, and no tradition behind the design. Still the open-air rooms will be very 'jolly' for eating and sitting about in. Much charm in the situation. We greatly enjoyed this visit. It was very invigorating in every way.

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