Vanessa: A Novel

Vanessa: A Novel

Vanessa: A Novel

Vanessa: A Novel

Excerpt

My dear Erik,

I take the greatest pleasure in dedicating this final novel in the Herries series to yourself because during those last years our friendship has been one of the best things I possess.

With this pleasure I must contrast a very real sense of loss. I am, as I write the last lines of Vanessa, saying good-bye to work that has been, for the last six years, my constant preoccupation. It cannot interest my readers that Judith, Benjie, Vanessa and the others have appeared to me such real and constant friends, but now, as they vanish down the wind, I feel a true and personal loneliness.

But I should like to thank those readers who have also found them friends, and to urge upon one or two critics that long novels are no new thing, and have been always in the tradition of the English novel.

Yet more boldly I would say that in this present case these four Herries novels are intended to be read as one novel, and I hope that some day there will be a reader who will both live long enough and be idle enough to read them so! But one ambition of mine is, I find, already realised. Some of those who love and know Cumberland have found in these pages a tribute to that country which has pleased them.

Affectionately,

HUGH WALPOLE

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