by H. G. Wells ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 26, 1934
This book will probably -- in certain circles -- prove the sensation of the season, and the selection as Book-of-the-Month will give it an impetus in a wider market. Not an autobiography in the conventional sense. Here is no gradual and systematic unfolding of the successive years in a man's life. Rather is it an inseeing, a searching into the motive power and causation of character. Frank -- at times brutally so. Egocentric -- well, that is to be expected, and it makes it more illuminating reading. It is, in a sense, a biography of justification, with the facts of his life subordinated to the bearing some facts rather than others have on his intellectual and emotional development. One gets a sense of a tremendous, over-powering ego, but of less conceit than one might expect; a fairly honest facing of his own shortcomings in accomplishment, a critical appraisal of the ultimate values in his own work, an acknowledgment of his powers as journalist rather than artist. Of his personal life, only so much as bears upon his mental and emotional growth, with, of course, extensive searching into the truth, as he sees it, of his marital failure. There is implication of much that is not discussed in detail. The last section of the book deals, chiefly, with his contacts through his professional life, and many will find his appraisals of his contemporaries challenging and controversial to a degree. Frank Harris, George Bernard Shaw, Henry James, Grant Allen, Joseph Conrad, George Glssing, Arnold Bennett, Stephen Crane -- each one of these comes in for a generous portion of consideration. And in lessor degree his editors, Henley and Cust; his neighbors at Sandgato, Graham Wallas, Hubert Bland and his wife, E. Nesbit; Ford Madox Ford, York Lowell, Bob Stevenson, the Webbs, and many others. A curious panorama of English letters, and excellent reading, for those who can take it with sufficient detachment of spirit. It is the big book of the publisher's Fall list, and certain to have front page reviews and extensive advertising the country over.
Pub Date: Oct. 26, 1934
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1934
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