Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Relatively Unknown Friend

It's not often that we get to feature anything by Maurice Baring on this blog, which is unfortunate. Thing is, his books have been almost wholly forgotten. I bought one a few years ago, but I never got around to reading it (my shame).

Anyway, I ran across the following passage in one of Joseph Epstein's fabulous essays and thought it a good opportunity to give Baring a mention: "In one of the world's good books, Maurice Baring's The Puppet Show of Memory, Baring writes about the many good book in the pre-revolutionary summer home of his friend Count Benckendorff, and of a particular cupboard full of fine novels. 'Before going to bed, we would dive into that cupboard, and one was always sure, even in the dark, of finding something one could read.' This reminds me of friends who always put good books, both new and old, in their guest room, usually books suited to the guest's tastes. It is a lovely gesture of consideration, except that, when I have stayed with these friends, I am usually up half the night reading."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Maurice! He's always been a sort of "third wheel" of the Chesterbelloc. Still, did he not have great influence on Chesterton, as Belloc did, especially concerning his faith and conversion?

I've been trying to find some of his books in stores, but I think I'll have to order them online in the end. It's a pity that he isn't more well known. What I've read of his, though it didn't have the same electricity GK, drew me in in it's own way. In that way it reminded me of Waugh's works.

It would be nice to see more of him here.