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November 20 , 2008

The History of Mr. Polly


The protagonist of The History of Mr. Polly is an antihero inspired by H.G. Wells' early experiences in the drapery trade: Alfred Polly, born circa 1870, a timid and directionless young man living in Edwardian England, who despite his own bumbling achieves a sort of contented serenity with little help from those around him. Mr. Polly's most striking characteristic is his "innate sense of epithet," which leads him to coin hilarious expressions like "the Shoveacious Cult" for "sunny young men of an abounding and elbowing energy," and "dejected angelosity" for the ornaments of Canterbury Cathedral.

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