8 June

8 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

Those of us who are seriously interested in contemporary fiction cannot afford to disregard these admirably translated novels by the famous Dutch author. It is stated in an explanatory note that they can be read independently and separately, but that is, we think, to miss the peculiar interest of Mr Couperus' achievement. True, the first book, which was published some years ago and which bears the covering title of the series Small Souls, may be considered as complete in itself, but it is also the key to these three that follow after; and although apart from them, it may and it does strike us as very brilliant, very sensitive and amazingly vivid and fresh, it is only when we look back upon it and see it in its rightful place in relation to the others that we recognize the full significance of the qualities we admire.
We do not know anything in English literature with which to compare this delicate and profound study of a passionately united and yet almost equally passionately divided family. Little by little, by delicate stages, yet without any preliminary explanations or reserves, we are taken into the very heart of the matter. [Review of The Later Life, The Twilight of the Souls by Louis Couperus, Athenaeum, 18 June 1920]