Of all the women he had ever known she was the most ethereal. Loving her was like swathing oneself with a long scarf of spirit.’
Harriet Hume, musical, mystical and whimsical, is the very essence of femininity- both princess and trollop. Her beautiful room in a dilapidated Kensington House is the setting for this love story, she herself an extension of the beauty which surrounds her. Here amidst trees and lilacs, Arnold Condorex comes to be loved. And love him Harriet does, beyond reason. But Condorex is a man bent on power and Harriet is a woman with powers of quite another kind. In ruthlessly pursuing his ambition, Harriet- his better self- must be cast aside…
How Harriet slowly triumphs over Condorex is gradually revealed in this beautifully imagined fantasy, HARRIET HUME, Rebecca West’s third novel, recounts the victory of love and the love of beauty over man’s eternal quest for dominance and destruction. Written in a style as elegaic as the London it also celebrates, Rebecca West’s wisdom, imagination and wit are triumphantly brought together in this, her third novel.
One must conclude that the greatest living example of a woman... who has been both a thinker and an artist, and who has managed over some sixty years to express a spacious sense of reality, is Rebecca West.