18 August

18 August 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

The tepidity, almost bordering on idiocy, of her family circle, their politeness, forbearance, gentleness and modesty towards one another, are excellently described, as is the scene between her parents and herself when the fatal manuscript is discovered. For crime, and to save her family from being corrupted by her very presence among them, she is sent away to a widowed Aunt, and there, meeting a real live man, who is as wicked as he is handsome, she learns to live her book over again. This time she is saved by a friend of the Aunt's and sent home - to spend the remainder of her life - i.e. sixty years - repenting. But what had she written? Either it was pestiferous balderdash or it was all nonsense. Either her parents were idiots or she was a little horror. And what happened between her and the villain thus to destroy her whole life? And was her mind a perfect sink or was she merely the victim of growing curiosity? All these questions are left dans le vague - in that dreamy, faint, dazed world where girls of thirteen and girls of eighty-five laugh and cry over the same book. [Review of A Fool in her Folly by Rhoda Broughton, Athenaeum, 20 August 1920]