Publishers and Republishers of Remarkable Original Fiction
|The Green Hat
|Withdrawn from sale for copyright reasons
|A new edition of this book is published by Capuchin Classics,
|Read an Extract
First published in 1924 and a massive best-seller, The Green Hat
is ostensibly the story of a wild young widow with a shady past and a taste for fast cars and adultery, set mostly in London’s Mayfair just as the Twenties began to roar.
At the centre of this whirlwind is Iris Storm—but driving her is the ghost of her first husband, the ferociously idealistic Boy Fenwick, who may have fallen, dead drunk, or may have jumped from his hotel window on his wedding night. According to Iris, Boy Fenwick died ‘for purity’, and her rampages through Europe’s high society thereafter leave no doubt about what he meant by that. What she meant by it – and wanted to keep secret – is revealed only in the final eye-popping pages.
Michael Arlen was Armenian, born Dikran Kouyoumdjian in 1895 in Rousse, Bulgaria. In 1901 his family moved to England, and he was educated at Malvern College. Then, after a shot at studying medicine at Edinburgh University, he moved to London and began to make a living as a journalist.
His first novel, The London Venture, was published under the name Michael Arlen in 1920. The Green Hat became a smash hit in 1924. Like his characters, Arlen moved effortlessly in Mayfair society, but was never wholly part of it. He once described himself as ‘every other inch a gentleman’—a cool dig at the impenetrability of the English upper class for those not born into it. In later years Arlen variously lived in France, Italy and the USA; he died in New York in 1956.