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William Gerhardie himself described Resurrection as ‘an autobiographical novel recording a true experience out of the body, followed that night by a London ball at which, against a background of social comedy, the theme is taken up and developed into a passionate argument for the immortality of the soul, illustrated by the spontaneous recollection of a year rich in travel and having the power to evoke a vanished lifetime in a day.’
Some consider this to be Gerhardie’s masterpiece. Hugh Kingsmill said ‘Tristram Shandy is accepted as a permanent masterpiece, and Resurrection is worth ten of it’. Edwin Muir considered the book ‘easily the best’ of Gerhardie’s work ‘and also, I think, one of the most remarkable that have appeared in our time. Michael Holroyd has the same high opinion of it as did Philip Toynbee who wrote, ‘an astonishing Proustian masterpiece … which embraces more of Gerhardie, more of his attitudes, personality and literary achievement than any other’.
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