Australasia's Biggest Online Store

New Zealand's Lowest Prices. Guaranteed



Product Description
Product Details

About the Author

WILLIAM GERHARDIE (1895-1977) was born "Gerhardi" in St. Petersburg, Russia, the son of British parents--he added the final "e" late in life. At the outbreak of World War I Gerhardie joined the army where his language skills led to assignment at the British Mission in Siberia. There he worked in a propaganda campaign aimed at disrupting the Bolshevik take-over of the country after the Russian Revolution (which had ruined his family and forced them to flee the country). Gerhardie's work earned him the Order of the British Empire at age 24. Upon his return to England, he enrolled at Oxford and soon produced his first novel, Futility, based on his recent experience in Russia. The book won praise from Evelyn Waugh, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene and others--but did not sell well. While still at school he wrote the first critical appreciation of Chekhov to appear in English, still cited by scholars as one of the most perceptive. Several critically celebrated novels followed, including The Polyglots, Doom, and Pending Heaven, and he became the toast of literary London. The press magnate Lord Beaverbrook doted on Gerhardie and tried, unsuccessfully, to increase Gerhardie's sales by serializing his books in his newspapers. In 1939, Gerhardie stopped publishing, although for the rest of his life he told friends he was working on a four-volume novel called The Present Breath. Gradually falling into poverty, he rarely left his London apartment, and when he died there in 1977, no trace of The Present Breath was found.


"To those of my generation he was the most important new novelist to appear in our young life. We were proud of his early and immediate success, like men who have spotted the right horse." -- Graham Greene

"I have talent, but he has genius." --- Evelyn Waugh "[Futility] is a living is warm. One can put it down and it goes on breathing." -- Katherine Mansfield "Why was there no shouting about Gerhardie's Futility--shouting to reach the suburbs and the country towns? True, devastating. A wonderful book." -- H.G. Wells "Mr. Gerhardie's novel is extremely modern; but it has bulk and form, a recognisable orbit, and that promise of more to come that one always feels latent in the beginnings of the born novelist" -- Edith Wharton 'William Gerhardie is our Gogol's Overcoat. We all came out of him.' -- Olivia Manning
'In my opinion Gerhardie has genius.' -- Arnold Bennett 'He is a comic writer of genius ... but his art is profoundly serious.' -- C. P. Snow

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
People also searched for
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Futility on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top