Tag Archives: Library

Diary entries which mention books and other publications read by Arthur Linfoot. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library.

16 June 1918; Sunday

Up about 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9. Not much to do. Read a good lot of Wells’ “Passionate Friends”1 and wrote home and to Charlie. Received letter from home. Not much in the news. Our Divisional band played in the village in the afternoon and in the evening an Italian band played splendidly. Had walk with Holman at night. Quite a †new life† with this place. Saw the girl I spoke to a few days ago2. Some bonny kiddies in the town. The * of fair * in the crowd. Heard that Austrians had attacked on the Italian front.


  1. “[The] Passionate Friends”: 1913 novel by H G Wells. ALL had started to read this book a few days earlier, on 10 June. See also The Passionate Friends and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  2. ALL did not record his earlier meeting with this girl in his diary. 

The Passionate Friends

Cover Image

The Passionate Friends is a 1913 novel by H. G. Wells.

It takes the form of a letter to the his son by Stephen Stratton in which he sets out the story of his relationship with Lady Mary Christian, later Lady Mary Justin, with whom he had had a lifelong, on-again, off-again affair, although they had never married.

Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had ‘Commenced to read “The Passionate Friends”’ on 10 June 1918, shortly after arriving at Pierry, just south of Epernay.

26 May 1918; Sunday

Up about 7 o’clock. Not much to do all day. Stayed in until last thing but when I had a short walk with Willie Truman. Fine day. Wrote letter to Mr Inwood and one to Charlie and did a little French, besides reading through a book by Foottit† entitled “The Guard”1.


  1. Foottit’s “The Guard”: Author and book not yet identified. Other books are listed in Arthur Linfoot’s Library

3 April 1918; Wednesday

Up about 7.30. Read all morning “Mr Britling Sees It Through”1. Received orders first thing after dinner to proceed to the new camp outside Bailleul with Billy Truman and Harman. Went by car. Had tea with Australians and had chips at night. Slept well. Rest of ambulance to follow in the morning.


  1. Mr Britling Sees it Through: Very popular novel by HG Wells about an ordinary man’s war, published in 1916 and described in David C. Smith’s 1986 biography of Wells (H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography) as Wells’ “masterpiece of the wartime experience in England”. We (ALL’s offspring) had a copy (and read it) during WWII. See also Mr. Britling Sees it Through and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

Mr Britling Sees It Through

cover image

Mr. Britling Sees It Through is H.G. Wells‘ “masterpiece of the wartime experience in England”1. The novel was published in September 1916.

The book  tells the story of a writer, Mr. Britling, who lives  in the fictional village of Matching’s Easy, Essex. The novel is divided into three parts. Book the First, entitled “Matching’s Easy At Ease”; Book the Second, “Matching’s Easy at War”; and Book the Third, “The Testament of Matching’s Easy”.

This book appears to have had a lasting appeal to Arthur Linfoot; a copy remained at his home in Sunderland and was read during WW2 by ALL’s own offspring.

Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had started to read this book on 3 April 1918, while stationed near Bailleul in Northern France.


  1. According to David C. Smith, writing in “H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography”. 

12 January 1918; Saturday

Up about 7.30. On parade at 9 and fatigues all day. Read article by A G G1 on the war and the churches and also a sermon on “Providence” by J Vine† Newton.


  1. AGG would be A G Gardiner (1865 – 1946), editor of the Daily News 1902 – 1919 and popular writer. ALL had previously mentioned a book by A G Gardiner. Prophets, Priests and Kings, which he had read while on holiday in St Andrews in 1915. See Arthur Linfoot’s Library

21 November 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. On parade in the morning. Wet day. I played the part of wounded man and was carried on a stretcher for the first time in my life. Football match in the afternoon between our team and the King’s Own1, first round in the cup tie – and we won 6 – 0. Received papers from home and “Everyman”2 published my letter in reply to Roderick Random. Received letter from Charlie written on the 28th October.


  1. The 7th battalion of the King’s Own Regiment was in the 56th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. 

  2. The text of ALL’s published letter is reproduced here. See all diary entries tagged “Everyman” and also Everyman from the Arthur Linfoot’s library page.