'The old sorrow and desire tore at me again as fiercely as they had ever done...this man's body had been my heaven, and I loved him.'
Esther Sieveking is nineteen, half French, half fox-hunting English. She lives in Surrey among people for whom books are a last resource for killing time, but for her literature holds the world; writing is her aspiration. Then she meets the young author Cullum Hayes, brilliant, plausible, glamorous. He tells her they have met in his dreams. She believes him, and falls in love. But Cullum is a romancer, a cheat, a weaver of stories and a seducer of women...
On publication in 1928, many exclaimed over Cullum's extraordinary maturity, depth and sexual candour. For some, though, this story of first, obsessive and hopeless love, by a twenty-four-year-old author, was too much - as one reviewer remarked, 'It is all very well to be outspoken, but there are some things which are better left unsaid and Cullum is full of them.
E. Arnot Robertson (1903-1961) wrote eight novels, of which Cullum was the first, launching her as one of the most popular English novelists of the 1930s and 40s.