C – Maurice Baring
C – Maurice Baring – Baring’s homage to a decadent and carefree Edwardian age. Depicts a society as yet untainted by the traumas and complexities of twentieth-century living.
With wit and subtlety a happy picture is drawn of family life. The house parties in the country and a leisured existence clouded only by the rumblings of the Boer War. Against this spectacle Caryl Bramsley (the C of the title). A young man of terrific promise but of scant achievement. His tragic-comic tale offsets the privileged milieu. His tragic-comic tale offsets the privileged milieu.
In Somerset Maugham’s first novel, “Of human bondage”, Philip Carey is a young, poor student of Medicine who falls desperately in love with a low social level girl. In this novel by Maurice Baring, Caryl Bramsley (C) also falls desperately in love with another man-eater woman, but in this case both belong to good families. Another important difference between the two books the fact that Philip gets rid of his slavery. While C never gets out of it and destroyed by the relation.
In the autumn of 1919, almost a year to a day after the declaration of the armistice, I received a letter from an old college friend, Gerald Malone. He said in his letter that he was ill and that he wanted to see me on an urgent matter.
I had not seen Malone since the end of the war. At Oxford I had known him well. He was thought to be exceptionally gifted, but all the promise that he showed was destined to come to nothing. He took a disappointing degree and he worked for a time at law, but he was never called to the Bar. His father died, leaving him a small competence, which he rapidly got rid of by spending it.