Emotion Elevated

  • James Gindin


In the retrospective preface to the Manaton edition of Villa Rubein, Galsworthy dated the years in which the emotional side of himself dominated the critical as beginning in 1910. On 3 September, he wrote in his diary: “Began sketch. Planning a volume called The Inn of Tranquillity, to consist of nature and life sketches which should bring out the side of one which acquiesces and is serene.”1 A week later, he wrote to Massingham at the Nation, underscoring the designation of the letter as “Private”: “I have in my head a book of studies, sketches, impressions of moods, which I would group under the heading ‘At the Inn of Tranquility’. … Perhaps you might care to print say one a month.”2 Massingham replied, accepting the sketches of “mood” or “reverence”, even though he preferred the Galsworthy “interested in correcting social evils”.3 The sketches began to appear at a rate considerably slower than the promised one a month. Expressing what he felt directly was seldom easy for Galsworthy. He wrote to Garnett some months later:

Passion like everything else must be expressed. Of all the emotions it requires the most subtle and rare expression because it is, as it were, the most common property of us all; it is the emotion that we feel we ourselves know; and to make us feel anything new and stirring in this primitive field is the hardest of all tasks; for the artist. I think I had better stop, for I’m evidently clean off your rails, or on them, and we shall collide.4


Grand Canyon Social Evil Animal Slaughter Charity Case Rare Expression 
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  1. 10.
    Richard Ellmann, “Two Faces of Edward”, Edwardians and Late Victorians, English Institute Essays of 1959 (1960) reprt. in Golden Codgers (Oxford University Press, 1973) pp. 116, 125–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James Gindin 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Gindin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

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