Leslie Poles Hartley CBE (30 December 1895 – 13 December 1972) was a British novelist and short story writer. Although his first fiction was published in 1924, his career was slow to take off. His best-known novels are the Eustace and Hilda trilogy (1944–47) and The Go-Between (1953). The latter was made into a film in 1971, as was his 1957 novel The Hireling in 1973. He was known for writing about social codes, moral responsibility, and family relationships. In total, Hartley published 17 novels, 6 volumes of short stories, and a book of criticism.
L. P. Hartley
|Born||Leslie Poles Hartley|
30 December 1895
Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, England
|Died||13 December 1972 (aged 76)|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
|Genre||Novel, short story|
|Notable works||Eustace and Hilda, |
|Notable awards||James Tait Black Memorial Prize |
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature
Leslie Poles Hartley was born on 30 December 1895 in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. He was named after Leslie Stephen, the father of the writer Virginia Woolf. His father, Harry Bark Hartley, owned a brickfield and was also a solicitor and justice of the peace. His mother was Mary Elizabeth née Thompson. He had two sisters, Enid and Annie Norah. Hartley was raised in the Methodist faith. While he was young, his family moved to Fletton Tower, a country estate near Peterborough.  Hartley began his education at home and particularly enjoyed the work of Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote his first story, a fairy tale about a prince and dwarf, when he was 11 years old. In 1908 he attended Northdown Hill Preparatory School in Cliftonville and then briefly Clifton College. It was there he first met Clifford Kitchin. In 1910, Hartley finally settled at Harrow School, where he was a Leaf Scholar and highly regarded by his peers. While there, Hartley converted to Anglicanism but was still greatly influenced by his earlier Methodism.
In 1915, during the First World War, he went to Balliol College, Oxford, to read modern history. This was a time when most of his contemporaries were volunteering for the armed services instead of pursuing university careers. In 1916, with the arrival of conscription, Hartley joined the army, and in February 1917 he was commissioned as an officer in the Norfolk Regiment; however, he never saw active duty because of a weak heart. He returned to Oxford in 1919, with the intention of becoming a writer. While there, Hartley made a number of literary friends, including Lord David Cecil and Aldous Huxley. He left Oxford in 1921 with second-class honours in modern history.
Oxford Poetry first published Hartley's work in 1920 and 1922. During this time, he edited Oxford Outlook with Gerald Howard and A.B.B. Valentine, publishing work by L.A.G. Strong, Edmund Blunden, John Strachey, and C.M. Bowra. His own essays, short stories, and reviews were also included in its pages. In this early part of his career, Hartley spent most of his time broadening his social life. He was introduced by Huxley to Lady Ottoline Morrell, who welcomed him into her famed literary circle. Kitchin, with whom he had been reunited at Oxford, introduced him to Cynthia Asquith, who became a lifelong friend. He also met Elizabeth Bibesco, whose support and status catapulted Hartley into aristocratic British circles. Although he enjoyed rapid social success, his career as a writer failed to take off, and he was unhappy.
After his years at Oxford, Hartley worked as a book reviewer. He wrote articles for multiple publications, such as The Spectator, Saturday Review, and The Nation and Athenaeum. His favorite publication to write for was The Sketch. Hartley was praised extensively for his critical, steady, and wise reviews. However, the large number of books he had to read distracted him from his goal to write novels.
In 1924, he met Constance Huntington of G.P. Putnam, who published his first volume of short stories, Night Fears, in that year, as well as his novella Simonetta Perkins in 1925. Night Fears was relatively unsuccessful, earning him no money. Simonetta Perkins brought him only £12, though it was written about favorably. The Saturday Review called the young writer "one of the most hopeful talents", and The Calendar of Modern Letters said that Simonetta Perkins was a "distinguished first novel". Modern critics have called it his most dangerous novel, as Hartley explored infatuation and sexuality in a way not considered respectable at the time. In 1932, Hartley published The Killing Bottle, a collection of ghost stories. Cynthia Asquith included some of them in an anthology, which increased his popularity with the public. Critics thought of Hartley as the successor of the Gothic greats M. R. James and E. F. Benson.
Though he had worked on it for two decades, Hartley did not publish his first full-length novel, The Shrimp and the Anemone, until he was 49 years old. He had started and stopped writing the novel many times and even submitted it to a writing contest under a different name, but it did not win. The main characters, Eustace and Hilda, were inspired by Hartley himself and his sister Enid. He continued the series with the novels The Sixth Heaven and Eustace and Hilda. The trilogy explores the ideas of childhood nostalgia and the reality of adulthood. By the time of the third book's publication, Hartley had become a well-known author. Critics reviewed the books favorably, often marvelling at the author's ability to create characters that were lovable despite their high-class status. Walter Allen in the New Statesman called the last novel "one of the few masterpieces in contemporary fiction", and other critics agreed in similar reviews. Some, however, found the plentiful Italian dialogue pretentious. Despite the overwhelmingly good reviews, Hartley most valued the reactions of his friends and fellow writers. Both Edith Sitwell and Clifford Kitchin wrote him touching letters, expressing their awe and love of the novel.
After writing a few more novels with moderate success, Hartley wrote The Go-Between in just five months. Having left his previous publisher after disputes over compensation, he decided to publish this one with Hamish Hamilton. Critics' reviews were enthusiastic, and Knopf immediately wanted to publish the novel in the United States. There, it became extremely popular and even made the New York Times's bestseller list. The novel was translated into Italian, French, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Japanese. Hartley gained favor with other writers as well. W. H. Auden read the book and told Hartley that he was his favorite novelist. Many of Hartley's friends drew parallels between him and the main character Leo; just like Hartley, Leo was stuck between his middle-class upbringing and his high-class social circle. Leo also comes to understand near the end of his life that being alone is not something he wants, wishing that he was married instead. (This theme would be repeated in Hartley's later works.) Hartley had intended The Go-Between to be a commentary on the loss of innocence and morality; however, he was shocked when he found that many readers sympathized with the characters he thought should be hated. He was known to be a strict moralist, once describing compassion as doing away with moral worth and a substitute for justice.
Though Hartley joined the Chelsea literary group, the Bloomsbury group was also prominent in England at the time. Though the Bloomsbury circle was more popular, Hartley had no interest in joining them. He expressed his distaste for Virginia Woolf after her novel The Waves was published, asking the leader of the Bloomsbury group, Raymond Mortimer, "What are the Wild Waves saying?" On another occasion Woolf asked Hartley, "Have you written any more shabby books, Mr. Hartley?", particularly referring to "the one that might have been written by a man with one foot in England and the other in Venice". She advised him to change his formal way of writing.
Cynthia Asquith was a support through much of Hartley's career, publishing some of his earliest writings in her anthologies and welcoming him into her social circles. However, feelings started to change after Hartley did not allow her to publish his novel The Go-Between. Asquith reminded him of this fact often, and Hartley came to believe that the only reason she continued to be friends with him was his increased popularity. At one point, Asquith convinced Hartley's cook to leave him and work for her. On another occasion, she gave him vinegar instead of alcohol.
The major influences on Hartley's work were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, and Emily Brontë. His books often explore themes of social and personal morality—in particular, depicting passion as a route to disaster. He wrote about characters on the brink between adolescence and adulthood, contrasting childhood innocence with eventual self-knowledge. Hartley is usually regarded as both a realist and a romantic by critics and historians. He is known for using symbolism to develop characters and comment on the complexities of the class system. He is also praised for introducing fantasy, horror, and mysticism to comment on the mystery of existence. In columns Hartley wrote for The Daily Telegraph, he often expressed a distaste for contemporary culture because of its general vulgarity and rudeness. Beginning in 1952, Hartley travelled in England, Germany, Italy, and Portugal to lecture about his critical ideas.
In 1947 Hartley was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Eustace and Hilda, and his 1953 novel The Go-Between was joint winner of the Heinemann Award. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours. In 1972, he was named a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. He was the head of the English section of P.E.N. and was also a member of the management council of the Society of Authors. In total, Hartley published 17 novels, 6 volumes of short stories, and a book of criticism. These were mostly done during the last half of his life.
In 1971, the director Joseph Losey made a film based on Hartley's novel The Go-Between, starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates. In 1995, Clive Dunn directed a documentary about Hartley, titled Bare Heaven.
While attending Oxford, Hartley proposed to Joan Mews; it is not known if she accepted his proposal or not. In 1922 he suffered a nervous breakdown. Soon afterwards he started spending much of his time in Venice, Italy, and he continued to do so for many years. He traveled there with his aristocratic circle, eventually buying a home next to the church of San Sebastiano. A statue of Saint Sebastian outside the church, with arrows piercing his body, had a great influence on Hartley, as he would soon come to see the saint as "a symbol of mankind". While there, he owned a gondola, with his own personal gondolier, and was known to spend entire days on the canals. He also entertained many guests—including Henry Lamb, Adrian Stokes, and Leo Myers—and often set his writing aside to focus on social events.
During the later part of his life, Hartley resided in London at Rutland Gate, enjoying swimming and rowing during his free time. He was known to have many servants, a number of whom became dear companions and appeared in his novels. Hartley became relatively reclusive during these years, no longer attending the social gatherings that had punctuated much of his earlier life. Hartley enjoyed reading a number of his contemporary authors, such as Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Wharton, and Henry Green.
Hartley was known to be a hypochondriac, particularly afraid of tetanus and a painful death. Many believe this fear of sickness came from his mother, who was known to be overly concerned about his health. Hartley was very concerned with remaining an individualist within the structures of modern society; this led many to label him as a non-conformist. He referred to himself as a moralist.
During his trips to Venice, David Cecil joined him many times, leading many to believe that Hartley was homosexual. The first novel in which he included homosexual characters was My Fellow Devils—though instead of painting their sexuality in a favorable light, he portrays it as the reason for a friendship's ruin. Hartley was not open about his sexuality until toward the end of his life. He regarded his 1971 novel The Harness Room as his "homosexual novel" and feared the public reaction to it.
Hartley died in London on 13 December 1972 at the age of 76.
Works by Hartley include the following:
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1972.Cherwell (newspaper)
Cherwell is a weekly student newspaper published entirely by students of Oxford University. Founded in 1920 and named after a local river, Cherwell is a subsidiary of independent student publishing house Oxford Student Publications Ltd. Receiving no university funding, the newspaper is one of the oldest student publications in the UK.David Stuart Horner
David Stuart Horner (July 29, 1900 - 1983) was a crime fiction novelist and the longtime partner of Osbert Sitwell.East Anglia
East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. The area included has varied but the legally defined NUTS 2 statistical unit comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority area. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany.Emily Brontë
Emily Jane Brontë (, commonly ; 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third-eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.Facial Justice
Facial Justice is a dystopian novel by L. P. Hartley, published in 1960. The novel depicts a post-apocalyptic society that has sought to banish privilege and envy, to the extent that people will even have their faces surgically altered in order to appear neither too beautiful nor too ugly. The novel was included in Anthony Burgess's Ninety-nine Novels: The Best in English Since 1939: A Personal Choice.Go-Between
A go-between is an intermediary.
(The) Go-Between may refer to:
The Go-Between, a 1953 novel by L.P. Hartley
The Go-Between (1971 film), the 1971 film adaptation of L.P. Harley's novel by Harold Pinter
The Go-Between (2015 film), the 2015 BBC adaptation of L.P. Harley's novel
The Go Between Bridge, a bridge in Brisbane, Australia
The Go-Betweens, an indie rock band from AustraliaGorse Trilogy
The Gorse Trilogy is a series of three novels, the last published works of the author Patrick Hamilton. The stories follow the anti-hero Ernest Ralph Gorse, whose heartlessness and lack of scruple are matched only by the inventiveness and panache with which he swindles his victims. He is thought to have been based on the real-life con-man and murderer Neville George Heath, executed in 1946.Gorse insinuates himself into the lives of his victims with his good looks and easy confidence, and always with a good story. His victims are women, and he flatters his way into their affections until he is in a position to turn things to his advantage. Graham Greene called The West Pier "the best book written about Brighton", while L.P. Hartley said, "The entertainment value of this brilliantly told story could hardly be higher." Writing for The Independent, critic D. J. Taylor called Unknown Assailant "an inferior work" while The Guardian called it "drink-soaked."An adaptation of Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse was produced by ITV in 1987 (called The Charmer and starring Nigel Havers).
The West Pier (1952)
Mr. Stimpson and Mr. Gorse (1953)
Unknown Assailant (1955)Gorse also appears as a secondary villain in the novel Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman.Hamish Hamilton
Hamish Hamilton Limited was a British book publishing house, founded in 1931 eponymously by the half-Scot half-American Jamie Hamilton (Hamish is the vocative form of the Gaelic Seumas [meaning James], James the English form – which was also his given name, and Jamie the diminutive form). Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton Limited originally specialized in fiction, and was responsible for publishing a number of American authors in the United Kingdom, including Raymond Chandler, James Thurber, J.D. Salinger, E. B. White, and Truman Capote.
In 1939 Hamish Hamilton Law and Hamish Hamilton Medical were started but closed during the war. Hamish Hamilton was established in the literary district of Bloomsbury and went on to publish a large number of promising British and American authors, a large number of whom were personal friends and acquaintances of Jamie Hamilton.
During the late 1940s Hamish Hamilton Limited published authors including D. W. Brogan, Albert Camus, L. P. Hartley, Nancy Mitford, Alan Moorehead, Terence Rattigan, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Simenon and A. J. P. Taylor.
Jamie Hamilton sold the firm to the Thomson Organisation in 1965, who resold it to Penguin Books in 1986. In 2013, Penguin merged with Random House, making Hamish Hamilton an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Hamish Hamilton’s aim remains to publish innovative literary fiction and non-fiction from around the world. Authors include: Alain de Botton, Esther Freud, Toby Litt, Redmond O'Hanlon, W. G. Sebald, Zadie Smith, William Sutcliffe, R. K. Narayan, Paul Theroux and John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton also publishes an online literary magazine called Five Dials.Hartley (surname)
Hartley is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Adele Hartley, Edinburgh film festival organiser
Aidan Hartley (born 1965), British journalist
A. J. Hartley, British-born New York Times-bestselling author and Shakespearean dramaturg
Al Hartley (1921–2003), American comic book writer
Sir Andreas de Harcla, or Andrew Harclay, 1st Earl of Carlisle (c. 1270 – 1323)
A. N. Hartley (1902–1994), English dog breeder
Alex Hartley (born 1963), British artist
Alfred Hartley (1879–1918), English cricketer
Ann Hartley (born 1942), former New Zealand member of parliament
Anne Jane Hartley, birth name of the actress Ann Gilbert
Anthony Hartley (1925–2000), British writer and critic
Arthur Hartley (1889–1960), British civil engineer
Bill Hartley (activist) (1930–2006), Australian political activist
Bill Hartley (writer/presenter) (1911–1970), British broadcaster and writer, presented Motoring and the Motorist for the BBC
Bill Hartley (athlete) (born 1950), English former athlete
Blythe Hartley (born 1982), Canadian Olympic diver
Bob Hartley (born 1960), Canadian National Hockey League coach
Brendon Hartley (born 1989), New Zealand racing car driver
Bria Hartley (born 1992), American basketball player
Charles Hartley (disambiguation)
Charles Augustus Hartley (1825–1915), British, Victorian-era engineer
David Hartley (disambiguation)
David Hartley (computer scientist), (born 1937)
David Hartley (cricketer) (born 1963), former English cricketer
David Hartley (figure skater), British figure skater
David Hartley (musician), known for working with Sting
David Hartley (philosopher) (1705–1757), English philosopher and psychologist
David Hartley (politician), former member of the Ohio House of Representatives
David Hartley (rugby league), English rugby league footballer of the 1960s and 1970s
David Hartley (the Younger) (1731–1813), Member of Parliament and son of the English philosopher
Dylan Hartley (born 1986), England rugby union player
Edmund Barron Hartley (1847–1919), British Victoria Cross recipient
Elizabeth Hartley (disambiguation)
Elizabeth Hartley (Girl Guides) (born 1906), English Girl Guide and author
Elizabeth Hartley (actress) (1751–1824), English actress
Elizabeth Hartley (archaeologist) (1947–2018), American archaeologist and museum curator
Fergal Hartley (born 1973), Irish hurler
Fred A. Hartley, Jr. (1902–1969), U.S. politician, known for sponsoring the Taft-Hartley Act
Gene Hartley (1926–1993), American racecar driver
Grover Hartley (1888–1964), American baseball player
Hal Hartley (born 1959), American film director
Herman Otto Hartley (1912–1980), German-American statistician
J. R. Hartley, a fictional character and an author's pseudonym
Jess Hartley (born 1967), American author and writer
Jesse Hartley (1780–1860), British civil engineer
John Hartley (disambiguation), several people including:
John Hartley (poet) (1839–1915), English poet
John Anderson Hartley (1844–1896), Australian educationalist
John Hartley (tennis) (1849–1935), English clergyman who won Wimbledon
John Hartley (cricketer) (1874–1963), English cricketer, played for Oxford and Sussex
Jonathan Scott Hartley (1845–1912), American sculptor
Julia Hartley-Brewer, British journalist
Justin Hartley (born 1977), American actor
Keef Hartley (born 1944), British musician
L. P. Hartley (1895–1972), British author
Linda Hartley-Clark (born 1966), Australian actress
Lindsay Hartley (born 1978), American singer and actress
Mariette Hartley (born 1940), American actress
Marsden Hartley (1877–1943), American artist
Matthieu Hartley (born 1960), English musician
Mike Hartley (born 1961), American former baseball player
Nina Hartley (born 1959), adult-film actress
Oliver C. Hartley (1823–1859), American lawyer
Paul Hartley (born 1976), Scottish footballer
Peter Hartley (cricketer) (born 1960), English former cricketer
Peter Hartley (footballer) (born 1988), English footballer
Ralph Hartley (1888–1970), American electronics researcher
Richard Hartley (born 1944), British composer
Robert Hartley (born 1915), British stage, film and television actor
Steven Hartley (born 1960), British actor
Sue Hartley, British ecologist
Thomas Hartley (1748–1800), American lawyer
Vivian Hartley (1913–1963), birth name of the actress Vivien Leigh
Wallace Hartley (1878–1912), English violinist and band leader who died on the Titanic
Walter Hartley (born 1927), American composer
William Hartley (disambiguation)
William James Hartley (born 1945), former Canadian politician and restaurateur
Sir William Pickles Hartley (1846–1922), founder of the eponymous jam company in EnglandJack Sullivan (literary scholar)
Jack Sullivan (born November 26, 1946) is an American literary scholar, professor, essayist, author, editor, musicologist, concert annotator, and short story writer. He is one of the leading modern figures in the study of the horror genre, Alfred Hitchcock, and the impact of American culture on European music.Lady Cynthia Asquith
Lady Cynthia Mary Evelyn Asquith (née Charteris; 27 September 1887 – 31 March 1960) was an English writer and socialite, now known for her ghost stories and diaries. She also wrote novels and edited a number of anthologies, as well as writing for children and on the British Royal family.Leo Myers
Leopold Hamilton Myers (6 September 1881 – 7 April 1944) was a British novelist.Swanwick writers' summer school
The Swanwick Writers' Summer School is an annual writers' conference held at The Hayes Conference Centre, near Swanwick, Derbyshire. Founded in 1948, and first held in the summer of 1949, it is believed to be the oldest independent writers' school in the world. Established as a charity and run on a not for profit basis, it was inspired by the London Writers Circle. Early celebrities that featured at the School included, Vera Brittain, L.P. Hartley, Hammond Innes and Arthur C. Clarke
The first chairman was Cecil Hunt, a chairman of the London Writers' Circle. Early delegates included the booker prize nominee, Barbara Pym, one of whose novels, No Fond Return of Love, is inspired, in part, by Swanwick itself. Associated with the school for over fifteen years as member, host and lecturer was Booker Prize Winner Paul Scott. He refers to the role Swanwick plays in creative writing in his published essays.Over the years Swanwick has played an important role in the social development of creative writing.The Go-Between
The Go-Between is a novel by L. P. Hartley published in 1953. His best-known work, it has been adapted several times for stage and screen. The book gives a critical view of society at the end of the Victorian era through the eyes of a naïve schoolboy outsider.The Go-Between (1971 film)
The Go-Between is a 1971 British romantic drama film directed by Joseph Losey. Its screenplay, by Harold Pinter, is an adaptation of the 1953 novel The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley. The film stars Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Margaret Leighton, Michael Redgrave and Dominic Guard. It won the Grand Prix at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.The Go-Between (2015 film)
The Go-Between is a 2015 British romantic drama film based on the 1953 novel The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley. It was filmed at Englefield House in Berkshire.The Travelling Grave and Other Stories
The Travelling Grave and Other Stories is a collection of horror and fantasy short stories by author L. P. Hartley. It was released in 1948 and was the author's first American collection of fantastic tales. It was published by Arkham House in an edition of 2,047 copies.
Most of the stories had originally appeared in two British collections: Night Fears and The Killing Bottle and Other Stories.