Lost classics of L.P. Hartley to be published

01/03/2012 by Charlotte Williams

The Go-Between author's tales of love and class to be revived

Some of the forgotten novels of The Go-Between author L.P. Hartley are being brought back to bookshop shelves.

Hartley, whose opening lines to The Go-Between have become some of the most famous in literature ("The past is a different country, they do things differently there"), published his first work, short story collection Night Fears in 1924, with The Go-Between published in 1953. He died in 1972, two years after the release of the film version of his most famous novel, starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates.

His 1954 novel A Perfect Woman is to be re-released on 28th March by publisher John Murray. It tells the story of chartered accountant Harold Eastwood who makes the acquaintance of novelist Alec, who catches the eye of Harold's wife. But Alec is intrigued by barmaid Irma…

Also released on the same day is The Boat, described by the publisher as “a complex masterpiece of observation on English village life in wartime Britain”.

In June follows The Betrayal, the sequel to Hartley’s The Brickfield, in which central character Richard Mardick confesses how the death of Lucy, his young love, has warped his inner life; and My Fellow Devils, about the turbulent marriage of a young woman and her film-star husband.

Hartley, born Leslie Poles Hartley in 1895, was a friend of Aldous Huxley at Oxford in the early years of the 20th century. He was invalided out of the army during the First World War and returned to writing, penning short stories and novels.

A candidate for the Nobel Prize, he was not always popular in his lifetime, with Virginia Woolf dubbing him "a dull fat man", and ended his life, according to the Independent, with "years of heavy drinking, 'servant problems' and paranoia behind him".

A Perfect Woman, The Boat, The Betrayal and My Fellow Devils are all published by John Murray.
 

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