Escaping from Belfast

V.S. Pritchett

  • Green Avenue: The Life and Writings of Forrest Reid 1875-1947 by Brian Taylor
    Cambridge, 218 pp, £12.50, October 1980, ISBN 0 521 22801 8

Early in 1923, when I was a very naive and untrained newspaper correspondent in Dublin, it was my duty to take a regular trip to Belfast and to find out what was going on politically in that depressing and bigoted city of linen mills and shipyards. The Orangemen were contemptuous of the Southern Irish and had a blustering condescension to Englishmen like myself, and one of the few people whose talk was a relief from this was Forrest Reid, a novelist and critic in his late forties, admired by Yeats, Forster and Walter de la Mare, but almost ignored in his own city at that time.

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