WITH the death of Mr Charles Garvice, at the age of sixty-nine, there passes one whose name had long been the contemptuous synonym of all in fiction that was despised by those of even moderate intellectual attainment. But notwithstanding, his readers were numbered not by thousands but by millions. His methods were of the directest sort. His readers, he said, liked stories of youth and love and romance. “I try to make them laugh and to have a little moisture in their eyes at times, and I write carefully, in plain English style, so that the man of letters or the University man is not outraged.” But for all his solicitude for the elect, his public was the “girl-in-the-garden”. who was, in truth, “taken out of herself” by Mr Garvice’s simple tales of true love and splendid gallantry. It is no small service to have brought colour and romance into the lives of many who lived such things only in his pages. In days when novelists put themselves to school with psycho-analysts and worse, we pay our tribute to one who provided novels full of movement, clean and wholesome, and sweet to a fault — one who, moreover, proved that there is an eager public for stories that know nothing of earth’s defilements.
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