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143 The Façade of Events: A Review-Article By James G. Kennedy (Northern Illinois University) Kinley E. Roby. A Viri ter at War: Arnold Bennett, 1914-1918. Louisiana State University Press, 1972. $10.95. This handsome book is a continually interesting and admirably literate accounting of Bennett's difficulties - creative, marital , financial, and digestive - from 1913 to 1919. Kinley E. Roby correlates previously unused manuscript sources with available biographical records and with most of Bennett's published writings of the war years. The result gives very probably the personal context and certainly the chronology of most of Bennett's literary activity and publications from 1914 to 1918, including the novels, The Price of Love (1914), These Twain (1915), The Lion's Share (1916), The Roll-Call ([I917J, I9I8) , The. Pretty Lady (1918) , and Lord Raingo (1926), and the play, The Title 1191P)· Roby*spreading of his sources is that Bennett was led by his own difficulties in his marriage to Marguerite Souliê, to explore in novels one, two, and four the "stresses imposed" on marriages by incompatibilities of temperament, and to show the prices exacted from marital partners by their allegiances to respectability (pp. 235, 85). Bennett tested in novels three, five, and six, varieties of (hetero)sexual freedom for young women and older men which were seconded to him by the liberties being taken on London stages as well as by his own many weeks in London living apart from Marguerite. Roby believes that after the death of Bennett's mother (25 Nov 1914), war committee work and journalism, a. sense of his audience 's new interests, and "his inability to make his marriage function smoothly" led Bennett to feel certain that he had used up his Five Towns material (p. 82). Despite the fact that These Twain brought him "more money than he had ever before received for a novel," he decided to look to London for the scene and subjects of his fiction (p. Ié2). Robys conclusion is that Bennett's "relationship with Dorothy Cheston," begun in March 1922, enabled him finally to write a great novel about both wartime London, and love and marriage: Lord Raingo, the "culmination of years of personal struggle to discover and give artistic expression to the author's own emotional fulfillment" (pp. 275, 276). Robyc book is a good value for its use and quotation of hitherto unquoted manuscripts. From the LaFayette Butler Collection, Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and the C. K. Ogden Library Manuscripts Collection, University College, London, Roby quotes from and/or refers to 25 Bennett letters not printed in James G. Hepburn*s Letters c_f Arnold Bennett (3 vols., NY: Oxford UP, I966, I968, I970). Roby also draws on an additional 27 letters in these collections v/hich were written to Bennett by J. B. Pinker, Rebecca '.'.'est, A. R. Orage, and others. Roby shows much skill in reading the business implications of Bennett's correspondence 144 with Finker and with editors. In quoting two letters from the Butler Collection that do appear in Hepburn's letters, however, Roby unnecessarily omits words that apparently he considered uncreditable to Bennett (cf. p. 5?, and Letters, I, p. 217, Henry James, q. by Finker; p. 305, and Letters, III, p. 150). Since Roby does not include Hepburn's third volume, in his "Works Cited," he may not have had access to Hepburn's (apparently correct.) text of the second letter (17 November 1921, to Edward Frohlock). From the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection, New York Public Library, Roby quotes from and/or refers to Bennett's "7,'ar Journals 1914-1918," his "Notes Made at the Front 21st June - 13th July, 1915· France Belgium," the manuscripts of 77 articles for The Daily News and Leader and Lloyd■s Weekly News, and several of the manuscripts of "Observations," Bennett's weekly column for the New Statesman, beginning 28 Oct I9I6 and ending 15 March I919. Roby makes good use of the "Notes" in his review of Bennett's selection of details in the series of articles published as Over There (I915). He sensitively suggests that Bennett did not engage in overt propagandizing, but rather omitted what the French and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 143-146
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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