Download: Chapter 1
My great grandfather’s book ‘An examination of the effect on character of greatly altered circumstances, as epitomised by the divergent conditions into which two young unfortunates are thrust by the wretched cynicism of their betters,’ or ‘The Wager’ caused an enormous stir upon its initial release in 1919. The book so shocked and dismayed its late Edwardian audience, that it was prohibited both in Ireland, and across the Commonwealth. The book’s content invited comparisons in The Times to ‘the depravities of Wilde, absent his wit’. Today long forgotten, I thought I’d wile away a Summer evening with what seemed likely a dry exercise, but became an entertaining one. This reading is from the second edition, released abroad in 1920.
Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.
Image: Scan of great-grandfather’s portrait, from the dust jacket.