After an unspecified family disaster, the protagonist Lucy Snowe travels from her native England to the fictional French-speaking city of Villette to teach at a girls’ school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had read some of Villette on 9th April 1917 while stationed at an aid post in Northern France.
Tom Brown’s School Days culminates in Tom’s graduation from Rugby, having become an honourable Christian gentleman who embodies Dr. Arnold’s ideal of “muscular Christianity”. This little known sequel tells of Tom’s university life, until the completion of his M.A. degree and marriage, and his continuing development as a Christian gentleman.
The book was out of print for many years but is now available again in both print and electronic book versions.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had read Tom Brown at Oxford on 15th October 1916, while stationed at Authie in Northern France.
Orphaned at an early age, raised by his aunt and uncle, and apprenticed for seven years to a draper, Artie Kipps is stunned to discover upon reading a newspaper advertisement that he is the grandson of a wealthy gentleman – and the inheritor of his fortune. Thrown dramatically into the upper classes, he struggles desperately to learn the etiquette and rules of polite society. But as he soon discovers, becoming a ‘true gentleman’ is neither as easy nor as desirable as it at first appears.
Kipps was adapted for the stage in the early 1960s as Half a Sixpence; Half a Sixpence has itself been revived and updated in a new production at the Chichester Festival Theatre in July 2016.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he “read a good bit of Kipps” on 24th September 1916, while stationed at the military hospital at Méteren in Northern France.
Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. The novel tells of Anna’s struggle for freedom and independence against her father’s restraints, and her inward battle between wanting to please her father and wanting to help Willie Price whose father, Titus Price, commits suicide after falling into debt.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had finished reading Anna of the Five Towns on 15th September 1916, while stationed at the military hospital at Méteren in Northern France.
William Fielding, first officer of the ‘Royal Brunswicker’, is returning to his ship after visiting his uncle in the Channel port town of Deal. Fate intervenes and Fielding never reaches his post, instead becoming entangled in a series of adventures aboard the ‘Black Watch’. These take him far across the oceans and test him both as a man and a sailor.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had started to read List, Ye Landsmen! on 6 August 1916.
The book takes the form of a military history and is centred on an invasion by the Germans, who have managed to land a force on the East Coast of England.
Arthur Linfoot does not record when (or indeed if) he had actually read the book, but he must have been at least familiar with its theme as he wrote, on 30 June 1916 (the eve of the first Somme offensive):
Listened gramophone playing some Welsh songs. Formed up at 10 o’clock. Marched off in the dark. Carried stretcher with party most of the way. Reminded me of “Invasion of 1910”.
After learning he has but six months to live, the wealthy Simon de Gex decides to tell no one of his impending death and to spend his fortune madly.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had “read a lot of a story called Simon the Jester” on 22 June 1916 while stationed at Rainneville in northern France during the build up to the battle of the Somme. He finished the book the next day.
The book comprises 20 short biographical essays on kings, emperors, politicians, generals & admirals of some 10 combatant nations.
The title is seemingly inspired by the Christian doctrine of the threefold office (munus triplex), which states that that Christ has three offices, Prophet, Priest and King, although the book itself is not a Christian work.
Arthur Linfoot read Prophets, Priests and Kings on 7 July 1915, while on holiday in St. Andrews.