An extract from my real-time review of R. B. Russell’s Biography of Robert Aickman here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/01/24/robert-aickman-an-attempted-biography-by-r-b-russell/
Many more IWA business matters and escapades on canals and so forth. Even John Betjeman as a new member whose work RA was to include in one of his Fontana anthologies of ghost stories — and no doubt there will be more about these anthologies later in this book, all of which I have reviewed in detail recently, with my describing overriding themes of all the stories that RA chose in the eight volumes, including the truly brilliant, somewhat Aickmanesque, Betjeman story!
The escapades on the canals in this chapter make me think of a question someone asked recently in a forum – why did not RA write stories about the English canals? Someone suggested that it was his day job, so he wanted to avoid it in his creative work.
If anyone is interested in an Aickmanesque story that features these canals, then they should read Elizabeth Bowen’s HUMAN HABITATION. A recent revelation for me. And whilst on this subject, in this chapter there is this crucial statement by Russell about a social gathering …
“Aickman was impressed by the august company he kept that evening. Asquith’s other guests included eminent authors Elizabeth Bowen, L.P. Hartley and Lord Dunsany.”
Surely this means that RA met Bowen at least once! The implications are manifold.