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310 many parts of the world during his parents' extensive travels , and there are some vivid accounts of foreign parts (including the Canadian Rockies) as well as of the journeys themselves: crossing the Atlantic on the "Empress of Ireland" in 1907, for instance, Kipling has indulged his insatiable appetite for learning how large organizations work, and for seeing the latest technology, by visiting the ship's kitchens ("the machine which takes a barrel of flour and turns it into dough for bread. . ."). There are also some memorable setpieces , including accounts of the funeral of Edward VII and of the 1907 visit to Oxford, when Kipling received an honorary degree in the company of Mark Twain and Camille SaintSaens . The main interest of the book, however, lies in the extended portrait it provides of Kipling's family life, and of the happy Edwardian years tragically terminated on the Western Front—a tragedy that Kipling laconically enshrined in a single brief reference to "Lieutenant Kipling" in his two-volume official history of The Irish Guards in the Great War (1923), but whose fuller expression is to be found in the two stories of war that conclude A Pi versify of Creatures (1917), which J. M. S. Tompkins has described as "utterances of deep outrage," and in the morbid and tormented stories to be found in his last two collections. Norman Page University of Alberta 5. WELLS'S SEARCH FOR STABILIZING STRUCTURES H. G. WeI Is. H1 G1 WeI Is in Love: Postscript to an Experiment in Autobiography. G. P. Wells, ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 19"8TI $16.95 H1 G1 WeI Is in Love includes three documents: an introduction to The Book of Catherine WeI 1 s, written in 1928 to accompany a collection of writings by Wells's wife; a long postscript to Experiment in Autobiography, which addendum was principally written in 1934 and revised subsequently; and a diarylike supplement to this postscript that was written off and on from 1935 to 1942. Wells believed that these documents concerning his love life were too sensitive to publish during his life, but he also believed that the narrative related in these documents told an important part of the story of his career. At the core of his sense of the importance of this account lies his search for a Lover-Shadow, a "complex of craving and hope" or an "underlying hunger . . . for a commanding love-response" by "another consciousness" (pp. 54, 67). Explaining the force behind his numerous affairs, Wells writes, "The fundamental love of my life is the Lover-Shadow, 311 and always I have been catching a glimpse of her and losing her in these adventures" (p. 61); "all these 'love affairs' in my life . . . are attempts ... to embody and concentrate the Lover-Shadow in [some] other human being" (p. 113). Wells thought he could never find this ideal in any one person, and he admits that most of his affairs had little or no emotional impact on him. In recalling the women in his life, he concludes that he loved only three: Isabel Mary Wells (his first wife), Amy Catherine Robbins (his second wife), and Moura Budberg (p. 60). He also notes that he had a stronger than average attraction to Amber Reeves and Rebecca West. Loving Moura Budberg was a painful experience for Wells, who loved her "more than . . . any other woman" (p. 143) because she "satisfied [his] craving for material intimacy more completely than any other human being" (p. 162). But Moura did not feel as strongly about Wells and she blasted his trust in her by several deliberate deceptions, though nowhere in his account does Wells confirm Anthony West's claim (H1 G1 Wells: Aspects of a Life, 1984) that what shocked Wells the most was Moura's confession to him that she was a Russian spy collecting information about him and others. Wells's disillusionment with Moura left him to wrestle with a recurrent impulse to commit suicide and with doubts about the possibility of the evolution of his ideal world state (about which he was writing to escape his suicidal depression). Moura failed to provide a stability that Wells needed, the sort of stability...


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pp. 310-312
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Will Be Archived 2021
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