Welcome to our blog!
It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!
This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Received a letter from my mother today (dated August 30th.) informing me of the death by drowning of my sister Tertia's fiance, Willie Boulton.They are holidaying at Barmouth and it seems he was swept out to sea by a strong current. The body has not yet been recovered.
I threw the letter over to Kennerley to read, and walked away to the lock.
In a few minutes it occurred to me that of course I was going by the Newhaven steamer that night. Nothing else was possible.
As the time approached for the appearance of the steamer, little groups of people collected round the darkness of the lock, in which small craft had already encamped. At some distance on the other side of the channel, were a few electric lights where some earthworks had begun to be thrown up. Save for these and one or two other scattered lamps, all was mysterious gloom. At last the hoot of the steamer came eerily down the canal, and as the vessel rounded the last corner, its electric headlight, like a great eye dropping a tear in the still water, illuminated the vista of the canal, and though it was yet a mile away, threw a deep black shadow behind our figures.
Then suddenly I felt that this passage of a channel steamer through the Ouistreham lock was going to be an impressive transaction.
I was filled with the presence of an inexorable power. With tremendous majesty the great ship crept gradually forward to the accompaniment of hoarse calls and hoots, and so at last into the lock. It was an hour before the water of the lock had subsided and her bulwarks were level with the sides of the lock. She moved out silently, save for the pilot's call, and with the same dignity as she appeared, disappeared with us into the blackness of the sea.
Such scenes as this are the poetic apotheosis of machinery. The spectacle accorded with and soothed my feelings.
September 2nd., 1910
On Tuesday I went to Paris. Lunch at Martin's (his cousin Eugene was there). I met Lee Mathews at Hotel St. James at 6.10. We discussed plays and his projects till 7.20. Caught 7.55 home, for bread and milk at 9 p.m. I bought nothing.
See also, 'French excursion' -
September 24th., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/friday-september-24th.html
Couldn't work next day or yesterday. Not sure why. Sometimes one is oppressed by a sense of pointlessness; why make another effort, or even exert oneself to be pleasant? Fortunately, with experience comes the knowledge that the feeling will pass and life will resume its normal optimistic course. In the meantime go through the motions.
So, I resumed "Seeing Life in Paris" this morning, and did 1,200 words.
Yesterday afternoon I just did a New Age article.
By first post I received news that Pinker could sell serial use of "The Honeymoon" to McClure's Magazine for £200. I cabled to accept, provided dramatic rights not jeopardised.
September 2nd., 1919
At the Midland Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.
I came here from Dublin yesterday. Pouring rain. Packed steamer. Couldn't move on it except with the greatest difficulty. People placidly getting soaked through while being ill. I felt sure my luggage would reach Liverpool with me. It didn't. Great melancholy. Fruitless expeditions by hotel people to lost luggage office. At 9 p.m. I strolled up there myself and the trunk came in at that identical moment. It was like a miracle. How dependant our moods are on our particular circumstances - from dejected to delighted as the result of the arrival of an inanimate object!
On Sunday we drove over Wicklow mountains and things to Glendalough; ancient ecclesiastic city. Much of the scenery was superb. I drank one and a half bottles of stout which gravely incommoded me.
Yesterday I sat in wet boots after leaving the boat, 12.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. No alternative. Yet did not catch cold.
September 2nd., 1927
At 75 Cadogan Square, London.
I wrote 1,100 words of "Under the Hammer" in one and a half hours. Great going.
Considering that I only slept two hours last night I was in astonishing creative form today