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Private Road

Forrest Reid

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In this, the companion volume to his earlier autobiographical Apostate (1926), Forrest Reid continues his ‘chronicle of a prolonged personal adventure’. Private Road (first published in 1940) offers Reid’s descriptions of his early writing efforts; a youthful correspondence with Henry James that began with promise yet ended disappointingly (‘the Master was not pleased…’); his Cambridge encounters with such luminaries as Ronald Firbank and W.B. Yeats; the production and reception of his first published works; and his valued friendships with E.M. Forster and Walter de la Mare. The closing stages of the book reflect Reid’s unique sense of the spiritual: a compelling meditation on our ‘second life’ in a place Reid calls ‘dreamland’, wherein a ‘shadowy agent’ conjures an atmosphere that can hold powerful inspirational properties for the artist.

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