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233 novel consistent It is a complex and largely hidden chronology, and an analysis of it shows Bennett to have been accurate at every point except a few minor details. The flirtation between Scphia and Gerald was all over with, and they were married, by July 2nd or 3rd, 1866. The vi rute of Viarri1 low's book is first of all that it does identify many of the Bennett landmarks, and gives the names they bore in fact and fiction. So far as I can judge, the account is accurate. It is probably based upon a leaflet, "Bennett County," prepared by John Ford, Deputy City Librarian, Stoke-on-Trent, in I96I; but it does include additional items, Mr, Ford himself ought to have undertaken such a book as this, for he knows more about the matter than anyone else, and could have treated the whole issue of Bennett's relationship to and use of the Five Towns. But quite a bit of information is here; and along with "Bennett Country," which has a useful small map, it lays out much of the Bennett terri tory. Warrillow's real labor of love is his photography, and his book has seventy photographs, old and new, that constitute a valuable record of the Five Towns. If you want to see St. Luke's Square as Sophia herself saw it when she came home from the long sojourn in Paris, you can see it here as well as in the novel. The photograph looks down the Square to the Baines-Povey shop (which bears quite visibly the name of Bennett's maternal uncle, tongson). If you want to see the Sytch Pottery, whose facade inspired Edwin Clayhanger, you can see it here in its present state of decay, along with an engraving from 1δ4θ. The most striking photographs, though, are not of particular Bennett landmarks but of the streets of Burslem and of the general landscape in the nineteenth century. No other complex of towns in the world presented so massive an array of houses and pottery manufactury; and the photographs show the handsome bottle-shaped ovens rising here and there above angular buildings. The beauty of the Potteries must have been unique, and some of the photographs that Warrillow has resurrected and restored give good glimpses of it. University of Rhode Island —James G. Hepburn 2. Poised on an Old Razor's Edge Beverly Nichols. A CASE OF HUMAN BONDAGE. Lond: Seeker & Warburg, Ltd., I966. Mr. Nichols has always been a very clever writer of anecdotes. Most of these he has coaxed into books of one, oc two, or three hundred pages, which illustrates the extent of his cleverness. (See, for instance, ARE THEY THE SAME AT HOME? BEING A SERIES OF BOUQUETS DIFFIDENTLY DISTRIBUTED [Lond: J. Cape, 1927].) But new the clever fellow is no longer content to "persist with anecdotal bliss"; and in one of his several latest books, he has assumed no less a task then morally defending Syrie, wife to Mr, Maugham, against the calumny of husband Willie's remarks in LOOKING BACK. Syrie, said Willie, was an "exceedingly silly woman." Not so, claims the lady's knight-errant, who has always before him her decorous conduct at the villa in Le Touquet one summer during the late 1920's. Into her bower she bravely invited her husband and his corrosive influence, reptilian Gerald Haxton. The world may witness her courageous battle when, with Gerald ever by Willie's side, she faces friends for cocktails. The world may also witness her now by love possessed 234 as she defiantly delivers Willie and Gerald separate laundry bills. Even in defeat, as she rides in a dining car away from Le Touquet, as she forgets in her distraction that she can be heard by fel low-diners, Syrie's loving concern for Willie is manifested between requests or refusals to her waiter for water, bread, or salad dressing. Mr. Nichols' vicarious torture is, evidently, not assuaged by time. He pictures himself draped languorously over a piano picking at a tune of his, which will later "creep," he says, into a West End review; but unfortunately, he has forgotten to...


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