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Mr. Britling Sees It Through is H.G. Wells's "masterpiece of the wartime experience in England." The novel was published in September 1916.
Mr. Britling Sees It Through tells the story of a renowned writer, Mr. Britling, a protagonist who is quite evidently an alter ego of the author. The garrulous, easy-going Mr. Britling lives with family and friends in the fictional village of Matching's Easy, located in the county of Essex, northeast of London. The novel is divided into three parts. Book the First, entitled "Matching's Easy At Ease," is set in June-July 1914 and is at first narrated from the point of view of an American, Mr. Direck, who visits Mr. Britling's establishment in Dower House and falls in love with Cissie, the sister of Mr. Britling's secretary's wife. Also in the company are Mr. Britling's son Hugh and a visiting German student, Herr Heinrich, who is forced to leave when war breaks out. Book the Second, "Matching's Easy at War," covers August 1914 to October 1915, when Mr. Britling's son Hugh is killed at the front. In Book the Third, "The Testament of Matching's Easy," Mr. Britling learns that Herr Heinrich has also been killed, and writes a long letter to the dead German soldier's parents.
Mr. Britling is a complex character whose conflicts are the chief concern of the plot. Mrs. Britling (Edith) runs the household, but she does not engage her husband's affections entirely. On the one hand, he is involved in "his eighth love affair" with a Mrs. Harrowdean (though this affair does not survive the beginning of the war). At a deeper level, he feels himself "profoundly incompatible" with Edith, his present wife, whom he married after the death of his first wife Mary, with whom he had been "passionately happy." His deep love of the son they had together, Hugh, is inflected by his continued emotional attachment to the memory of his first wife.
THE WORLD'S POPULAR CLASSICS
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Hardback edition of this title is also available (978-1-64226-297-1)