Hardback with green cloth boards, it has green titling on the spine. It is in reasonable condition, although the boards are bumped, there is foxing on the pages and previous owners inscription inside the front cover.
The story is simple, as befits the theme, and is told in the first person by an artist who looks back on the days of his youth when aged eighteen he went to stay in a country house; where he met with a girl little older than himself, who was engaged to an eligible young man and fell in love with her at once, and very early in his love we are given the keynote Of the book. She asks, Is it me you love or just your idea of me ? " He tried to paint her portrait, but achieved nothing but sketches of her hands, her hair, her throat. " It was as an artist not as a man that I wanted then to possess her, and to possess in her beauty itself of which she had become representative."
Time went on. Clare, the girl, became a wife and the boy pursued his art. After some years they met again, and each of them tried to rediscover love's first pattern. But as Clare said to him, " Your love was too soon, mine too late. It's as if two people with different languages were to learn to speak to each other only after their secrets had become meaningless." The consummation of the love which had begun for the boy at a time when dew enchanted the apple of his Eden was as unsatisfying as Dead Sea fruit. He desired the girl whose image he had cast on the mirror of his own love ; she desired the boy who had first seen that image, and neither could find the other who had no existence in the flesh.