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Old 03-04-2009, 06:48 AM   #1
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Hichens, Robert Smythe: Desert Air. v1. 4 Mar 2009

Robert Smythe Hichens (November 14, 1864 – July 20, 1950) was an English journalist and novelist.
Born in Speldhurst in Kent, he was educated at Clifton College, the Royal College of Music, and the London School of Journalism.
He wrote lyrics for music, stories, and collaborated in successful plays. He is best remembered now, perhaps, for his satire on Oscar Wilde, The Green Carnation (1894), his novels that were made into films — The Garden of Allah (pub. 1904) and The Paradine Case (pub. 1933) — and the story "How Love Came to Professor Guildea", which has been frequently anthologized. His novel "Felix" (1902) is an early fictional treatment of hypodermic morphine addiction.
Hichens' classic novel The Green Carnation has been republished as a hardcover volume in 2006.


Excerpt
On an evening of last summer I was dining in London at the Carlton with two men. One of them was an excellent type of young England, strong, healthy, athletic, and straightforward. The other was a clever London doctor who was building up a great practice in the West End. At dessert the conversation turned upon a then recent tragedy in which a great reputation had gone down, and young England spoke rather contemptuously of the victim, with the superior surprise human beings generally express about the sin which does not happen to be theirs.
"I can't understand it!" was his conclusion. "It's beyond me."
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