John Drinkwater’s Robinson of England is a very peculiar novel indeed. I don’t mean funny-peculiar, but peculiar in the sense of being curious and unusual. It is, to use a word, that Drinkwater’s contemporaries might have employed in the circumstances, a queer book.
I always have mixed feelings before re-reading a book that had a profound effect in my youth (and isn’t that really the age when the most profound effects of books occur?) There is the hope that the original, thrilling magic might still be there, waiting to be unleashed once more. And there is the trepidation that the experience will be a disappointment, or a bore, or even an indictment of one’s youthful naiveté.