4 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Early Edition.
   I think Amos Barton is awful & there is nothing to say for it. In the first place poor George Eliot's Hymn to the Cream Jug makes me feel quite quesy (no wonder she harps on biliousness & begins her description of a feast ‘should one not be bilious there is no pleasanter sight' etc.). In the second place the idea of lovely, gentle, fastidious, Madonna-like Mrs Barton having 8 children in 9 years by that pockmarked poor ‘mongrel' (her own words) with the blackened stumps for teeth is simply disgusting! If I thought the poor little pamphlet was designed to put in a word in favour of Birth Control I could bear it. But far from it. Each chubby chubby with a red little fist & TEN BLACK NAILS (how is that for charm?) rouses a kind of female cannibalism in G.E. She gloats over the fat of babies.
   I have always heard Amos Barton was one of her best stories. You know its very very bad that we haven't sincerer critics. Having spread my peacock tail to that extent I had better depart. Not before saying what a truly frightful need England hath of thee.
                 Yours ever & ever
                    Wig. [To J. M. Murry, early August 1922.]