Man of Many Lives
‘The Connoisseur of Harris’ was Hugh Kingsmill. In 1919 he published a novel called The Will to Love which he had written in a prisoner-of-war camp. Harris appears in it as Ralph Parker, a man whose friendship ‘was a craving for an audience, his love, lust in fancy dress’. Yet ‘in the ruins of his nature, crushed but not extinct, something genuine and noble struggled to express itself ’. Harris was in his seventies when he died in the summer of 1931 and Kingsmill’s biography of him was published the following year. They had known each other for twenty years and the book was one of those Lives that contain two main characters: the subject and the writer.