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be substituted Golder’s Green for Ventimiglia as a mis en
scène for his teeming thoughts on the Coal Strike, the élan
of the Scientific Age, the iniquities of the Fascist régime, 
Catholicism and Protestantism, Stoicism and Epicureanism,
the new responsibilities of the British Ruling-Classes, the
significance of marriage, and the art of landscape gardening.

How many of these subjects have passed through the
Mediterraneanizing process that imposed upon Mr. Wells
a garden by a southern sea, as a background for his animadversions 
is quite another matter. One may surmise that, as
they passed in procession through Mr. Wells’s mind, before
finding lodgment in “Meanwhile,” somehow the novelist
vainly hoped that a formality extraneous to his experience,
such as reigns in Italian gardens, might lend coherence to
their unrelated detail. But Mr. Wells has definitely committed 
himself and there it stands in black and white, a card
of admittance presented by the author to the reader for the
gardens of Casa Terragena, a generous card which admits
the reader, not as a mere tourist to poke among the botanical
labels, but to enter likewise into the great house where an
English hostess, with the aid of an English-speaking Italian
major-domo presides over a house-party sprinkled with
titles and thrilled by philosophical talk. This delectable
scene is warmed by an olive fire in an Italianate fireplace and
lit by red-shaded electric lights. The guests walk “over
bare expanses of beeswaxed floor,” but they do make a concession 
to their native blood and eat Dundee marmalade for
breakfast. They use a language which, in its varying richness 
and poverty, one recognizes as belonging to the English-
speaking peoples, even when spoken by the major-
domo and the Italian publicist. These two latter also speak
another language which belongs likewise to the English-
speaking peoples, but they are the only two characters in
“Meanwhile” who have really mastered this tongue, in spite
of the fact that the hyphenated American, Mr. Plantagenet-