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

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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A great moment

March 8th., 1919, Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken

Musing today about the course of life and its unpredictable nature. For example I am being drawn into the impending production of "Judith", the play I wrote for Lillah Mc Carthy (see "Indecent Exposure" at http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.com/2013/04/indecent-exposure.html). I had thought my role was complete when I wrote the final word but seemingly not so! I was led on to think about other unanticipated events in my life and then to wonder what has been life's greatest moment so far. You might guess that it was the publication of my first novel, or my marriage, or my triumph in America, but not so.

In 1916 I was asked to join the Ministry of Information to take charge of the French section - I could do no less than accept in all the circumstances. Imagine my surprise though, in fact the the most terrible fright of my life, when I was later told:  "The Minister is very ill and will resign. No new Minister is to be appointed at present, but you will be put in charge of the Ministry, with supreme responsibility." The greatest moment of all, the moment when I knew that my life had touched its climax, was signalled at 10.45 a.m. on November 11th.,1918 when I got my first news of the Armistice from a newsboy in Regent Street. Everybody knew at 11 o'clock. I returned to my Ministry, the staff of which was highly excited and even hysterical, particularly the women. I affected nonchalance, and urged the women to remain calm. But perhaps this moment was the supremely great one for me, after all. I was free!

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