Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Gods and Mr.Perrin by Hugh Walpole

In Britain it had the title Mr.Perrin and Mr.Traill, in America it was called The Gods and Mr. Perrin(from Internet Archive). Who can plumb the mind of the marketing man but in the former a business relation is implied perhaps. If you called a man Babbitt for instance it was because you went to school with him or or belonged to the same fraternal society, the Masons,that sort of thing. In Britain of the early 20th.century that title means you are looking in and what you seeing as you read is the hell that is a minor public school in Cornwall. Hugh Walpole or Sir Hugh Walpole possibly not Sir Hugh, the idea of a people's knight had not caught on at that time though here my reading of the British mind falters in the fog of nuance. There are things which must remain opaque, high holy things. Yes.

This was Walpole's first success and with it he entered into the rising star category along with Compton Mackenzie and Somerset Maugham (D.H.Lawrence distant but gaining). A schoolboy who is bullied by both the masters and the other boys in the book is called Somerset Walpole which brings the common acquaintance with that hell to the fore. More anon but if you are down town and rooting in the barrows and find it under any style or title, buy it.

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