Books: Novelist in Rome

ROMAN FOUNTAIN—Hugh H/o/po/e—Doubleday, Doran ($2.50).

A novelist who can swim skillfully in imaginary worlds, Hugh Walpole was hired by the Hearst press to eyewitness the funeral of Pope Pius XI and the election of Pope Pius XII. Roman Fountain is a reflective record of this experience.

Thirty years before, the novelist had visited Rome as a poor but haughty young man, had met a moist old character who took him to see an obscure but radiantly beautiful fountain. Ostensible theme of his book is his skeptical wish to see that fountain again. Actually it is a profounder search for a profounder fountain.

Effortlessly the...

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