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The Clarence Darrow Letters

Brand Whitlock to Clarence Darrow, November 19, 1923

Brand Whitlock is referring to his novel "J. Hardin & Son" which he began in the summer of 1914. He had to stop writing it because of the demands of his work as the Minister to Belgium during World War I.

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

Hotel Britannique
Place du Trone, Brussels
November 19th 1923

The Honourable Clarence S. Darrow,

Ashland Block,

Chicago, Illinois.

My Dear Friend:

I have asked my publishers to send you a copy of my new novel, new to you though old to me for I began it before the war, and began to feel I was never going to get it done at all. I am glad to have it finished, though, before the next war begins. I trust that you will find something in it to like, and if you do perhaps you will write to tell me about it.

I wish that I might see you and talk with you about a lot of things, and when I come home again I must try to do that. We spent last Winter in New Jersey where I was busily engaged in putting the finishing touches on my book, and when it was done we came back to Europe again, because I wanted to get some other materials for a book or two that I am writing. I am half way through with another novel, and we expect to go to Cannes for the Winter, and I hope to finish it there.

Have you read "The Revolt against Civilisation" by Lothrop Stoddard? I have just been reading it with deep interest, and, I confess, with despair, for I fear it is all too true. Of course, you saw Housmans' "Last Poems". I like also the "Memoirs of a Midget" by Walter de la Mare; but perhaps you would not; still you might look at them. But I think my favourite book of all, because of its utter humanness, is "Pepys's Diary"; I have no doubt you have read it, but if you haven't, there is an excellent new edition, complete and unexpurgated - the expurgated editions are abominable - in the Wheatley text, which is the complete text, brought out in England in three volumes on India paper, by G. Bell & Sons, but published in America, I think, by Harcourt Brace & Co.

The Honourable Clarence S. Darrow,
- 2 -

November 19th, 1923

It may be superfluous my recommending it to you, for you probably know all about it; but if by any chance you have not read it, you will find an endless pleasure all the days of your life in doing so, and in doing so over and over.

Send me a line sometime to Barclays Bank Limited, 33, Rue de Quatre Septembre, Paris, whence it will be forwarded to me, to tell me what you are doing and how you are doing it.

I learned only the other day that poor Joe Cooper is dead; as Prince Henry said of Falstaff, I could better have spared a better man.

Your friend as ever,

Brand Whitlock

P.S. Pray pardon the appearance of this letter; I dictate to a French stenographer, which has its disadvantages; she makes mistakes, and then I have to be rather careful of what I say. Then I did it, venture to tell how my admiration for England and the English daily grows, and how firmly I am persuaded that the best thing to preserve our civilisation, such as it is, is a good understanding between them and us.

The Honourable Clarence S. Darrow,

Ashland Block,



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