“...airships and colloids.”
Rebecca West, on H.G. Wells’ novel Marriage:
He is the old maid among novelists; even the sex obsession that lay clotted on Ann Veronica and The New Machiavelli like cold white sauce was merely old maid’s mania, the reaction towards the flesh of a mind too long absorbed in airships and colloids.
Her biting assessment was probably correct, given how utterly the book has vanished from the literary landscape, a hundred years later. Far from being offended, Wells was intrigued, and sought her out. They became lovers, and even had a child together. West’s Return of the Soldier is high on my reading list for this year, though not soon enough to join the Guardian‘s reading group.