Autograph Letter Signed from the novelist Eden Phillpotts to an unnamed woman, discussing the handling of socialism in his 1926 play (with his daughter Adelaide) 'Yellow Sands', as well as his own political views, sympathetic to Italian Fascism.

Eden Phillpotts (1862-1960), English novelist, strongly associated with Dartmoor, Devon, his daughter Mary Adelaide Eden Phillpotts [later Ross] (1896-1993)
Publication details: 
Torquay, Devon. 4 May 1927.
SKU: 12340

2pp., 4to. 41 lines. In fair condition, on aged paper. He begins by stating that 'Yellow Sands' 'only touches social questions by the accident of the plot. Socialism is a word the definition of which no two people appear to agree about. Ask a dozen Socialists what they understand by their faith & they will each tell you something different.' The opinions depicted in the play are both 'clear' and 'foggy', 'but it is [in] no sense propagandist - I hate propaganda in art.' He goes on to discuss his own views: 'I am not a socialist. Socialistic & communistic ideals will undoubtedly be exploited in this country when Labour returns to power & I apprehend no vital or rational advantages under that regime.' In a twenty-three line postscript he expounds a position sympathetic to Fascism, beginning: 'The masses have always needed string to lead them. Take Italy & take England under the Commonwealth. You may regard dictatorship as in every sense reactionary; but weighed in the balance of national prosperity & increased well-being for the greater number, benevolent autocracy has a great deal to be said for it - given the men big enough to lead & powerful enough to impress their will on a nation & noble enough to act on high principles only.' He considers Britain to be 'a nation of political dwarfs. Labour has no genius to guide or guard, [...] In the Liberal ranks you see what I mean: Lloyd George genius without principle; Lord Grey principle without a ray of genius.'