down, and hist him over in de middle ofrndem blackberry bushes.” When they reportrnthe attack to their mistress, whosernhusband is away, she does not hesitate tornfire the overseer on the spot. Althoughrnthe episode illustrates the danger ofrnputting women under the power of arnman who is not their husband or father,rnthe story has a happier ending than if itrntook place in the armed forces or thernWhite House,rnIf the introductor’ chapters constituterna social history of the Old South, thernchapters dealing with the Hardys’ decliningrnfortunes during and after the warrnread more like a tragic narrative. Byrn1860, Squire William Eppes Hardy hadrnalready lost six of his 12 children. As thernstorm clouds gathered, he experiencedrnthe marriage and departure of his daughterrnand the deaths of a son and of his ownrnmother. In the course of the war, hisrnnephew Willie Hardy was shot dead atrnFirst Manassas, and Kibler records therndeaths of son after son of the Hardys’rnneighbors. In the spring of 1864, thernsquire’s son Haywood died of a prolongedrnillness he had contracted in Virginia.rnA vounger son, William DixonrnHardy (Captain Dick, as he came to bernknown), survived the war and presidedrnover the dwindling fortunes and acreagernof the family. At the end of the war, thernestate, e’en while it was still intact, wasrnvalued at only 15 percent of its formerrnworth —a good measure of what SouthrnCarolina suffered as a whole, even in areasrnthat the pyromaniacal Sherman didrnnot succeed in burning.rnThe post-war cast of cliaracters in thernHardy saga is narrower, and —as happensrnin so many societies on their last legs —rnthe eccentricities become more marked.rnCaptain Dick Hardy, the war veteranrnwho returns to keep the place going,rnemerges as an archetype of the defeatedrnSouth: proud, hard-working, but toornhonorable to save the sinking ship.rnWhen I spoke with him last summerrnabout Our Fathers’ Fields, Kibler told mernthat he regarded his book as a kind of arnnovel. After reading the first few chapters,rnI was unable to figure out what hernmeant. It is not simply the technical discussionsrnof plantation management —rnMoby Dick has thornier passages on thernphysiology of whales. A novel has to bernan integrated narrative with something atrnthe center. By the time I put the bookrndown, I realized that there is a center,rnand it is the house itself and the familyrnthat lived in it. If, as Mel Bradford used tornsay. Southern fiction is always the stor)’ ofrnfamilies, not of individuals, then Our Fathers’rnFields works not only as a Southernrnnovel but as a full-blown Southern Agrarianrnnovel that takes us from an antebellumrnGolden Age through the years ofrnconquest and desolation down to therncurrent resurrection. In putting togetherrnthis book and restoring the house that isrnat its center, James Kibler has simultaneouslvrnlived and written the story of thernSouth: its rise, its fall, and—if it is up tornthe likes of Professor Kibler—its renewal.rnThomas Fleming is the editor ofrnChronicles.rnA Rainbow Bridgernby Andrei NavrozovrnCyril Connolly: A Lifernby Jeremy LewisrnNorth Pomfret, Vermont:rnTrafalgar Square;rn675 pp., $50.00rn / hat is there to say about some-rnV V one who did nothing all hisrnlife but sit on his bottom and write reviews?”rnThus the subject of this biography,rnwho saw himself as a modernrnSainte-Beuve, once excoriated Sainte-rnBeuve in a private letter. To his biographer,rnCyril Connolly’s lament is so selfrevealing,rnso emblematic of the life hernchronicles that he uses it as the epigraphrnto this exhaustive, at times almost maddeninglyrndetailed, critical biography.rnP’or Jeremy Lewis as for Connolly, thernartist is above all his own artistic sensibilih’,rneven if steriliti,-, obesity, and torpidityrn(to say nothing of humbuggery and plainrnold bugger)’) should be the objective finalrnresult of his endeavors. “Were it thatrnI would have such a champion!” is everyrnliterary poseur’s chops-licking thoughtrnfrom here to Timbuktu.rnCertainly the fantastically decorativernbridge between the artist’s consciousnessrnand his life’s tangible achievement hasrnthe closing decades of the last centur)’ forrnits main support. The ornate wroughtironrnspan, shaped like the grille of arnmonastic locuton,’ whose fanciful prototypesrnone can find in the selfless solipsismrnof Dosto’evsky and Huysmans andrnWilde, is clearly outlined against thernmother-of-pearl, slightly chipped Watteaurnof English sky between the WorldrnWars, and in retrospect it may well bernargued that the sometimes invisible,rnthough always measurable, stress of nostalgiarninherent in the rationally tenuousrnstructure is exactly what was makingrnthe “music of time” all along. Now andrnthen Lewis’s book is too passively descriptiverneven for an enthusiast of periodrnephemera, and yet as a detailed architect’srndrawing of that most miraculous ofrn20th-century cultural miracles — England’srnamazing musical bridge 1890-rn1930 —it is simply invaluable.rnWliat Connolly meant to sav, by wayrnof socratically boastful self-abasement,rnwas that if he was Sainte-Beuve (“a betterrnartist, yet a weaker one, than any of therncontemporaries whom he criticises”),rnthen Stephen Spender was Hugo, W.H.rnAuden was Lamartine, and Loins Mac-rnNeice was A’lusset. No argument there,rnespecially if, uncharitablv, we equaternweakness with getting out of bed beforernnoon, or charitably compare it to beingrninept at the kind of public relations forrnwhich literary careerism in the 20th centuryrnis famous: concealing one’s appefiternfor (even innocent) pleasure, e-schewingrngenuine eccentricities like keepingrnlemurs and ferrets (instead of deadlines),rnand holding sufficientiy implacable (orrnat least fashionably fimed) leftist views.rnNo argument there, as I sav, except thatrnConnolly’s contemporaries also includedrnhis schoolmate at St. Cyprian’s andrnlater at Eton, George Orwell.rnEven if one does not identify Orwellrnwith that sobering, slap-hard sense ofrntruth for which the century may be rememberedrnlong after so many of the delicatelyrnevasive sensibilities of both thern”weaker” Connolly and of his strongerrncontemporaries have been forgotten, thernfact is that among the literary figures activernat the time and moving in the samernor intersecting London circles were —inrnalphabetical order, ransacking the indexrnto Lewis’s book and leaving out the expatriaternParis of Hemingway and Joycernwhere Connolly liked to frolic wheneverrnhe had enough money for the ferry—A.J,rnAyer, John Betjeman, Lawrence Durrell,rnT.S, Eliot, E,M, Forster, Robert Graves,rnGraham Greene, Aldous Huxley, ArthurrnKoestler, Wyndham Lewis, SomersetrnMaugham, Malcolm Muggeridge, AnthonyrnPowell, ‘V,S, Pritchett, PeterrnQuennell, assorted Sackville-Wests,rnSitwells, and Stracheys, Dylan Thomas,rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn