Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
b44
Title
Charlotte Esmond
Genre
Story
Page Count
38
Word Count
6380
Publisher
American Aphrodite
Criterion
Publication Year
1930
Topics
Loneliness, Widows

A joyless widow briefly hopes for love from a visiting salesman, only to learn that he wishes to marry her daughter (drawing comparison with two earlier stories: The Flame and Nina). She finds meaning in caring for their daughter, but the baby tragically dies and she returns to boredom and loneliness.

In the preface to a 1938 collection of his stories, Country Tales, Bates singles out this tale, along with The Black Boxer, as accomplishing his difficult transition from a focus on mood to a focus on character and thereby projecting him "into a new world." Reviews: New Statesman and Nation (May 9, 1931, p. 400, attached) Times Literary Supplement (May 19, 1931; p. 409, attached, of the 1931 edition) In The Criterion (October 1930), The Black Boxer Tales (1932), Thirty Tales (1934), The Bride Comes to Evensford and Other Tales (1949) and published in a separate edition asMrs. Esmond's Life(1931). Reprinted as Mrs. Esmond's Life in Greater Omnibus of Private Books (1942), American Aphrodite (4:13, 1954).


Downloads

The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.