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Catherine Foster
Page Count
Word Count
Jonathan Cape
Viking Press
Publication Year
Document Types
Original Manuscript (mss)
Death, Marriage, Adultery

London: Jonathan Cape, 1929 (April 15); New York: Viking Press, 1929.
Dedication: "To Edward Garnett."

Bates's second novel, written in 1928 following his abandonment of a flawed attempt called Voyagers, portrays a creative young woman, married to a dull merchant, who has an affair with her charming brother-in-law. At the end of the romance, she is resigned to a dreary future, "indefinite, unrevolutionized, unalleviated except by the remembrance of things." A scene of note involves the illness and death of her husband's clerk and its effect on Catherine, constituting one of Bates's earliest treatments of these themes. As noted by Baldwin (1987, p. 79), Bates reluctantly agreed to alteration of a passage in the novel that Wren Howard (partner with Jonathan Cape) found indecent.

The Spectator wrote that "One cannot help feeling that Mr. Bates has given us his own decorative fancy of a woman in love rather than an authentic portrait. There is more shadow than substance in the book, but it is a shadow of great beauty...There is very little action in this drowsy and beautiful book: long chapters are devoted to days spent on the river, to days in the woods and evenings of music. The writing throughout is exquisite."

A holograph manuscript is held in the Senate House Library archives at the University of London (https://archives.libraries.lon...).


  • New York Times (October 6, 1929, p. BR4, attached)
  • The Spectator (April 20, 1929, p. 630, B.E. Todd, attached)
  • Times Literary Supplement (May 9, 1929, p. 384, attached)
  • Malaya Tribune (May 16, 1929, p. 12, attached)
  • Bookman (November, 1929, p. 319, Clinton Simpson, attached)
  • Saturday Review of Literature (May 4, 1929, p. 620, L.P. Hartley, attached)
  • New Republic (October 23, 1929, p. 279, attached)
  • Daily Telegraph (April 19, 1929, p. 18, S.P.B. Mais, attached)
  • Sunday Times (April 28, 1929, p. 9, Ralph Straus, attached)