WILLIAM DE MORGAN
My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. William De Morgan a number of times in their home in Chelsea, London, and in their apartments in Florence, whither they went for many years in the winter. Mr. De Morgan had been a potter until he began to write novels at the age of sixty-five; his wife was a distinguished painter. He was tall, very thin, with a thin voice and a thin beard. It was a delight to talk with him as he was always in high good humour and had had interesting experiences. He began to write by accident when he was recovering from an attack of the flu; and I believe it was his wife who persuaded him to continue and finish the manuscript of Joseph Vance. He gave an impression of benevolence and kindness. He was deeply religious in his own way. He told me the only parts of the Apostles' Creed that he thoroughly believed were the first seven words and the last four words, but there was no man in the world, I think, who believed them with more sincerity or with more confidence. He not only believed in personal immortality or 'immortalism' as he called it, but also in a way that was partly quizzical, partly humorous, but yet somehow wholly sincere, he believed in ghosts. That is, he believed that spirits of the departed occasionally revisited the glimpses of the moon. His long story, one of the last he wrote, When Ghost Meets Ghost, represented an inner conviction.
Joseph Vance was published in 1906; the author was a man of sixty-five, with no popular reputation. His novel