Other Fiction Street, G. S.: The Trials of the Bantocks. v1. 28 Feb 2019
#1  GrannyGrump 02-28-2019, 06:15 AM
The Trials of the Bantocks
BY G. S. Street (1867–1936)

An episodic novel: a satire about a snobbish wealthy British family in the late nineteenth century, as written by a groveling unabashed admirer, whose position is never quite explained (poor relation? secretary? live-in toady?).

An excerpt:
Spoiler Warning below

In fact, my only complaint in this matter (not that I do complain) is that Mrs. Bantock is too kind in noticing me. She will sometimes catch my eye at a small dinner-party at her house and drag me out of a preferred obscurity to ask, “Are you working hard?” My reply is inaudible, and she adds, “When you publish another book you must send it to me.” (She is very kind in this particular, not only accepting my books, but even asking me. for additional copies to give away.) I murmur how glad I shall be to do so, but by this time she is talking to somebody else, and I sink relieved into obscurity again. Such notice embarrasses me. But her kindness is usually most tactful, and, especially, it often takes the form of allowing me to be of service to her in a humble way; she knows, no doubt, what gratification such service is to me. Thus I sometimes receive a postcard in the morning telling me to get her tickets at some theatre. Now this is really kind, because, of course, a footman could get them quite as effectually as I; but Mrs. Bantock knows that I have tried to write for the stage and am therefore interested in it, and knows also that I am at a loss how to employ my time in the morning. She has promised, by the way, that if ever a play of mine is produced, she will accept a box on the first night.

George Slythe Street (18 July 1867 – 31 October 1936) was a British critic, journalist and novelist. He was associated with William Ernest Henley and the “counter-Decadents” on the staff of the National Observer. In 1914 he was appointed to the office of the Lord Chamberlain as Examiner of Plays.

Street is perhaps best known for his 1894 novel, The Autobiography of a Boy, which satirized contemporary aesthetes Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, and the Decadent movement of the late nineteenth century. [—Wikipedia]

The Trials of the Bantocks was first published in 1900. The text of this book is in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is “Life+80” or less.
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