Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Friend of the Rich

Fiction ~ novella / long short story
Published 17th September 1937*
Approx. 20,000 words
(First read 22/10/2013)

The third of the 'Old London' quartet and a big improvement on the previous (Janet ~ qv) largely because Benson was on more familiar ground here.  Set in an indeterminate time during the reign of Queen Victoria, Friend of the Rich is the tale of a middle-aged society cow woman lady and her attempts ~ ultimately failed ~ to launch and subsequently monopolize a new couple of millionaires in town (they hale from Liverpool, no less!).  Mildly ... very mildly amusing.
Not available online.

* The four books in this collection were only ever published in the United States, as far as I'm aware.

Monday, 7 October 2013


Fiction ~ novella / long short story
Published 17th September 1937*
Approx. 19,000 words
(First read 07/10/2013)

This is the second in Benson's quartet of novellas published under the title Old London.  There's no connexion between the four other than the setting, which in this case is Victorian ... I didn't spot any particular clues as to the exact year, probably 1840s or 50s. 
Original dust jacket
Unlike the first in the series ~ Portrait of an English Nobleman, qv ~ this is a humdrum domestic drama, hardly likely ever to set the world on fire.  Read it if every other book on Earth has been burnt.  Otherwise, don't bother.

*These four little books were never published in the UK, only in the US.  I assume that they were specially commissioned for the American market.