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The Bookman: July 1928

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Edwin Pugh. “Mary Webb,” in the Bookman, John Farrar, ed. London: Hodder & Stoughton Limited, July 1928. Front cover features a photograph of the late Mary Webb. There was intense public interest in Webb after Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s tribute to her at a Royal Literary Fund dinner in April 1928. Speaking of Precious Bane, Baldwin stated: “I thought that, whether this book is known or whether it is not, it seems to me, so far as I am able to judge, a book of absolutely first class quality. . . . her characters really are the creation of the country, and they spring out of her love of nature, which is the parent and dominating factor” (The Times (London), April 26, 1928, p. 18). Edwin Pugh was a long-time supporter of Webb’s literary genius, and had written a review of Webb’s first four novels in the April 1923 issue of the Bookman. Pugh also wrote a glowing review of Webb’s fifth novel, Precious Bane (referred to by Baldwin above), in the September 1924 issue of the Bookman. Pugh’s posthumous remembrance of Webb’s oeuvre is complimentary but overly-effusive to modern tastes.