It Ends with Revelations by Dodie Smith

I was really surprised when I saw It Ends with Revelations in an Edinburgh bookshop, because I had never heard of it before. In fact I think I had got it into my head that Dodie Smith had only ever written I Capture the Castle and 101 Dalmatians. Anyway, obviously I had to buy it and I’m glad that I did because I really enjoyed it.

Miles Quentin is a well known and successful actor and he is performing in a play at an English spa town during a summer festival. Quentin’s wife finds herself ‘taken up’ by the young motherless daughters of the local M.P.

I don’t want to say much more about the storyline. I had a quick squint at Goodreads to see what other people thought of the book, something which I don’t often bother to do, and it seems that a lot of people really didn’t like it. I think that that probably says more about them than about the book. Suffice to say that I’ve known of a few women in the past who put themselves in the position that the main female character is in. When homosexuality was illegal in the UK some men did choose to marry women as a sort of protection, as I recall, the women were generally called ‘beards’ and typically the men involved were wealthy and able to give the women a good lifestyle. A friend of mine turned a very wealthy man down because he said there could never be any children, I suppose they hadn’t heard of turkey basters in the early 1960s!

The book was certainly topical when it was published in 1967 as at that time in England and Wales (in Scotland it was 1980, and in Northern Ireland, 1982) homosexuality was being decriminalised. You can read about it here.