"Do you really want me, Peter?" He didn't speak but his whole body turned towards her, answering her question. "Because I am yours entirely. I became yours that day when your hand touched mine. I wasn't sure before-I knew then-" He looked at her. He saw her, he thought for the first time.... -from Fortitude The first great success of one of the most popular novelists of the early 20th century, Fortitude (1913) is the author's own favorite work. A romantic novel with a fairy-tale air, it is the life story of Peter Wescott, "who very navely believed in almost everything," as Walpole himself described him. As a quiet, polite child, Peter stoically endures horrific beatings from his father; as a dreamy young man, Peter finds himself swept away into reverie by the titles of books (he doesn't even need to read them) and escapes into his own fiction when grief and tragedy strike. With early hints of the supernatural and the psychological suspense that would infuse Walpole's later work, this is an important formative work of a writer whose work deserves to be seen anew. British writer SIR HUGH WALPOLE (1884-1941) was born in New Zealand and moved to England as a child. His works include novels, short stories, biographies, plays, and screenplays.
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