By: C.H.B. Kitchin
Francis Norton is an elderly bachelor who enjoys nothing better than spending a warm day outside in one of London’s parks. When one afternoon he innocently overhears the earnest conversation of two young lovers, Edward and Mirrie, whose relationship is complicated by Edward’s unhappy marriage to a drunken wife, Francis decides to interfere in an attempt to help the pair. But despite his good intentions, his matchmaking efforts have unexpected consequences, and he soon finds himself caught up in a complicated triangle involving blackmail, a mysterious death, and courtroom intrigue. Will Francis’s well-meaning manipulations lead to a happy ending for his two young friends, or will his meddling end in tragedy and disaster?
Found among C.H.B. Kitchin’s papers after his death, A Short Walk in Williams Park was published posthumously in 1971. As L.P. Hartley writes in his Foreword, this short novel has the same distinction of style as Kitchin’s other acclaimed works and displays many of its author’s finest qualities. Republished here for the first time, Kitchin’s final book joins his Ten Pollitt Place (1957) and The Book of Life (1960), both also recently reprinted by Valancourt.