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Tony Grist

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How Vainly Men Themselves Amaze... [Jul. 7th, 2011|02:10 pm]
Tony Grist
When Project Gutenburg digitized the H.G. Wells novel I've just finished reading it also digitized the advertisments at the back of the American first edition.

For instance, this: 

Thracian Sea

A Novel by John Helston, Author of Aphrodite, etc.....

Probably no author of to-day has written more powerfully or frankly on the conventions of modern society than John Helston, who, however, has hitherto confined himself to the medium of verse. In this novel, the theme of which occasionally touches upon the same problems- problems involving love, freedom of expression, the right to live one's life in one's own way- he is revealed to be no less a master of the prose form than of the poetical.....

Anyone out there ever heard of John Helston?

No? Me neither.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wolfshift
2011-07-07 01:31 pm (UTC)
I often wonder who writes those blurbs, because they're not excerpted from critical reviews. Sometimes it sounds like the author himself write it, and other times it sounds like a marketing firm wrote it. Or maybe a computer, randomly plugging in superlatives.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-07-07 04:27 pm (UTC)
I wonder too.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2011-07-07 02:27 pm (UTC)
Perhaps Helston is a pen name of Enoch Soames?
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2011-07-07 03:18 pm (UTC)
Bartleby.com has a poem by him, actually, on the death of Kitchener, the last lines of which seem ironic given your post:

“He did great work, until the winds
And waters hereabout that night betrayed
Him to the drifting death! His work went on— 40
He would not be gainsaid….
Though where his bones are, no man knows, not one!”
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2011-07-07 03:19 pm (UTC)
Er, the "40" isn't part of the poem.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-07-07 04:30 pm (UTC)
The Kitchener poem is better than I imagined it would be.


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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-07-07 04:28 pm (UTC)
I've been dipping into Helston online. I think his work is too robust to be Enoch's
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2011-07-07 10:42 pm (UTC)
No, but now I totally want to read him! Advertising works!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-07-08 07:25 am (UTC)
There are poems available on-line. They're OK.
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