Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HG Wells: prophet of free love

The author of The New World Order and over a hundred other books 'anticipated television, atom bombs, and the Internet. Impressive – even more so because he also found time to bed most of literary London. David Lodge delves into his many affairs and, below, DJ Taylor considers his literary achievement'

...He believed in free love and practised it tirelessly. He was married twice to women he loved, but neither of whom satisfied him sexually, and had several long-term relationships, as well as innumerable briefer affairs, mostly condoned by his second wife, Jane. Of particular interest because of the scandal they aroused were his relationships with three young women half his age: Rosamund Bland, the secretly adopted daughter of Edith and Hubert Bland, who was actually fathered by Bland on Edith's companion and housekeeper, Alice Hoatson; Amber Reeves, a brilliant Cambridge undergraduate, also the daughter of prominent Fabians; and Rebecca West, whom he invited to his Essex country house in 1912 to discuss her witty demolition of his novel Marriage in the feminist journal The Freewoman, a meeting that led in due course to the birth of Anthony West on the first day of the first world war, and a stormy relationship that lasted for some 10 years.

Reeves also became pregnant by Wells, by her own desire, with dramatic consequences. There were interesting liaisons with the novelists Dorothy Richardson (who portrayed Wells in her novel sequence Pilgrimage), Violet Hunt and Elizabeth von Arnim.

Then there was Moura, Baroness Budberg, a Russian aristocrat who survived the Russian revolution as the secretary and probably mistress of Maxim Gorky and with whom Wells slept when staying in Gorky's flat in Petrograd in 1920. They met again after Jane's death in 1927. Moura was the great love of his later life and his acknowledged mistress, but refused to marry or cohabit with him. ...Read it all

Note: What a rascal this poor fool was. For more evidence on that see the Label below this post "H.G. Wells_Francis Bacon".

"A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice."--Gilbert K. Chesterton

Fr. Robert Barron: The events depicted in 'Of Gods and Men' capped a bloody century for Christian martyrs.

Of Gods and Men, one of the most compelling religious films of the past 30 years, tells the story of the Trappists of Tibhirine, seven brave men who were murdered by Islamist extremists in 1996. Though it is not widely known, the 20th century produced more Christian martyrs than all of the preceding 19 centuries combined. The monks who are the subjects of this film were among the last to die for the faith in that terrible 100-year period.

These Trappists were transplanted Frenchmen, who had established themselves in a very simple monastery nestled in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria. They worked almost exclusively among the Muslims who inhabited the tiny towns and villages nearby. One of their number was a doctor, who provided basic medical care for hundreds of poor; their abbot was a decent and intelligent man, who in his spare time studied the Quran so as better to understand the people whom he served and for whom he prayed. The prayer life of the monks — which the movie conveys very effectively — was spare and beautiful, grounded in the rhythms of the Psalms...Read it all

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