05 August

5 August 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

[. . .] Let the reader turn to the scene where Sarah gets drunk because her horse has lost. It is a fearful scene, and so closely described that we might be at her elbow. But now Sarah speaks, now Esther, now William, and all is as cold and toneless as if it were being read out of that detective's notebook again. It is supremely good evidence; nothing is added, nothing is taken away, but we forget it as soon as it is read for we have been given nothing to remember. Fact succeeds fact, and with the reflection that Esther and her husband 'fell asleep, happy in each other's love, seeming to find new bonds of union in pity for their friend's misfortune', the scene closes. Is that all? No wonder we forget Mr George Moore. To praise such work as highly as he does is to insult his readers' intelligence.  Review of Esther Waters by George MooreAthenaeum, 6 August 1920]