The Blind Man's House

By Hugh Walpole
HUGH WALPOLE, whose volumes of thirty-two working years number close to fifty, undertook in The Blind Man’s House to work out a grand inspiration — one calling for the utmost exertion of his faculties. Briefly, he set out to show how persons can be undermined by Hitlerism in the individual soul, very much as nations are by infiltration of the Nazi poison. He tells the story of a passionate marriage in which, the man being physically blind and the woman in sundry ways morally blind, the married lovers are more than ordinarily exposed to their own secret fears, their latent defeatism. These are played upon by the gossip of a seacoast village; to the husband’s ear comes a malicious whisper of scandal about the wife; and both are brought to the verge of irreparable disaster by the insidious pressure of lies without upon all that is false within. The whole is a parable of England finding its soul, and all but too late. In the novel as it stands the implications get hardly beyond a stage of shadowy half-fulfillment. Internal evidence suggests that Walpole himself may have regarded his work on it as not yet finished..
W. F.