The introduction of this annotated edition of L.P. Hartley's novel discusses the symbolic structure of the novel - the golden age motif, magic, heat, mercury and the zodiac; its themes - memory and nostalgia, class, war and nationalism; and Hartley's influences - Proust, James, Bowen and Waugh.
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there", begins L. P. Hartley's tale of nostalgia, the reawakening of lost memories, and the sexual awareness of an adolescent boy. It is 1952. Leo, now in his sixties, comes upon an old diary and is drawn back to the hot summer of 1900, when he visited Brandham Hall. He has managed to forget serving during his stay as a messenger between a young woman and her lover -- and to forget also the devastating events that ensued and destroyed his beliefs and his hopes for the future. As his memories begin to unfold and Leo recalls the lost era of Victorian country gentry, he finds he must reinterpret his newly discovered past in terms of his present life. This first annotated edition of Hartley's 1953 classic contains a number of corrections based on the surviving handwritten manuscript.
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