Brynhild (novel)

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Brynhild
BrynhildHGWells.jpg
First UK edition
Author H. G. Wells
Original title Brynhild, or The Show of Things
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Methuen (UK)
Scribner's (US)
Publication date
1937
Pages 302
ISBN N/A
Preceded by Star Begotten
Followed by The Camford Visitation

Brynhild, or The Show of Things is a 1937 novel by H. G. Wells.

Plot summary[edit]

Rowland Palace is a novelist married to a distant cousin, Brynhild, a "Quiet Lovely"[1] who is twelve years younger than he. Inordinately sensitive to criticism, Palace has been withdrawing from a wife who is becoming critical of him, and when he decides he needs to engage a publicist to cultivate his neglected public image, he hides his plan. The publicist he chooses, Immanuel Cloote, proves to be an agent with imagination and "manifest gusto."[2]

Meanwhile Brynhild meets and becomes the unique confidant of Alfred Bunter, a rising young novelist of whose popular success Palace is jealous. Bunter confides to Brynhild that he is really David Lewis, from Cardiff, who left his wife and assumed a new identity as an author. Scarcely has he confided in Brynhild, however, than his true identity is exposed by someone who turns out to be Mr. Cloote, intent on sabotaging Rowland Palace's literary competitors. The plight of Bunter/Lewis elicits Brynhild's sympathies. The novel closes with the news that Brynhild, who had been feeling that she was "too aloof for life,"[3] has gained a new sense of confidence and self-assurance from her brief affair, is with child.

Themes[edit]

Brynhild is principally a literary satire in which Wells mocks developments in the contemporary literary scene in Great Britain, especially with respect to publicity.[4] The novel also scrutinizes marital misunderstanding in a comic vein.

References[edit]

  1. ^ H.G. Wells, Brynhild, or The Show of Things (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937), p. 117.
  2. ^ H.G. Wells, Brynhild, or The Show of Things (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937), p. 139.
  3. ^ H.G. Wells, Brynhild, or The Show of Things (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937), p. 194.
  4. ^ David C. Smith, H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986), p. 389: Brynhild is "comic and ironic." Smith considers the novel "a tribute to Marjorie [Wells, the wife of Well's son G.P. and his secretary and 'manager' after his wife died]."