Mrs Falchion by Gilbert Parker Page 2 of 291


Happily for the book, which has faults of construction, superficialities as to incident, and with some crudity of plot, it was, in the main, a study of character.

There was focus, there was illumination in the book, to what degree I will not try to say; and the attempt to fasten the mind of the reader upon the central figure, and to present that central figure in many aspects, safeguarded the narrative from the charge of being a mere novel of adventure, or, as one writer called it, "an impudent melodrama, which has its own fascinations."

Reading Mrs. Falchion again after all these years, I seem to realise in it an attempt to combine the objective and subjective methods of treatment - to combine analysis of character and motive with arresting episode. It is a difficult thing to do, as I have found. It was not done on my part wholly by design, but rather by instinct, and I imagine that this tendency has run through all my works.

It represents the elements of romanticism and of realism in one, and that kind of representation has its dangers, to say nothing of its difficulties.


It sometimes alienates the reader, who by instinct and preference is a realist, and it troubles the reader who wants to read for a story alone, who cares for what a character does, and not for what a character is or says, except in so far as it emphasises what it does. One has to work, however, in one"s own way, after one"s own idiosyncrasies, and here is the book that represents one of my own idiosyncrasies in its most primitive form.



Go to Page: