We Are Not Alone (novel)

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We Are Not Alone
First UK edition of "We Are not Alone" by James Hilton
First UK edition (publ. Macmillan
Author James Hilton
Subject World War I
Published Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 12 March 1937[1]
Media type Book
Pages 231

We Are Not Alone is a novel by James Hilton, first published in 1937.[2] It is one of his more sombre works, portraying the tragic consequences of anti-foreign hysteria in England just prior to World War I.[3] It has been compared to Goodbye, Mr. Chips in its portrayal of small-town life through the eyes of an everyman protagonist.[4]

Plot Synopsis[edit]

Dr. Newcome is a beloved doctor in a small English town. His frustrations with his relationships with his wife and son lead to his developing an affair with a German dancer,[5] Leni, whom the family takes on as a governess. When Newcome's wife Jessica is killed under suspicious circumstances, both Dr. Newcome and Leni fall under suspicion. The town's prejudice against Leni as a German leads them to convict her and Dr. Newcome despite only circumstantial evidence.[6][7]


A one-hour radio adaptation by James Hilton and Barbara Burnham was broadcast on the BBC National Programme on 6 April 1938, with a cast that included Emlyn Williams as the doctor, Edgar Norfolk, Gordon McLeod and Nan Marriott-Watson.[8]

It was made into a film with the same title, with the screenplay by the author, in 1939.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ "Peabody Bimonthly Booklist". Peabody Journal of Education. 14 (6): 326. 6 May 1937. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Hilton, James("Glen Trevor") 1900-1954 in Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature Vol. 1 (Web ed.). New York: HarperCollins. 991. p. 453. 
  3. ^ Peskowitz, Milton A. (6 June 1942). "Making Sophomores Reading Adults in a Democracy". The English Journal. 31 (6): 450–454. doi:10.2307/806101. JSTOR 806101. 
  4. ^ "In Brief Review". The English Journal. 26 (4): 341. 4 April 1927. JSTOR 804234. 
  5. ^ "Recent Fiction in Brief". The New Masses. electronic reproduction by unz.org. 11 May 1937. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Douglas, Lloyd C. (13 March 1937). "Innocent Doctor". The Saturday Review. electronic reproduction by unz.org 2005. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "We Are Not Alone". Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus Media, LLC. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Broadcasting". Arts and Entertainment. The Times (47962). London. 6 April 1938. p. 12. 
  9. ^ Nugent, Frank S. (1 December 1939). "From Hollywood". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Agel, Henri; Giraud, Raymond (1956). "Celluloid and the Soul". Yale French Studies. 17: 71. doi:10.2307/2929119. JSTOR 2929119. 
  11. ^ Ginsberg, Walter (January 1940). "Films for High-School English". The English Journal. 29 (1): 45. doi:10.2307/805636. JSTOR 805636.