First Meeting: 7th June, 1909.
Professor C. W. Egerton, President, in the chair.
New Members.—F. E. N. Crombie, R. J. Dearsly, Professor H. S. Dettmann, E. C. Foster, R. C. Grigsby, T. C. Savage, M.D., W. F. Stewart, and H. E. Vaile.
The President delivered the anniversary address, taking as his subject “The Novels of George Meredith.”
It is felt that, with the death of Meredith, a man who could truly lay claim to the epithet “great” has passed away. The slow development of his reputation was due chiefly to his style, which was sometimes inartistic, and very different from other writers. It makes considerable demands upon the attention and intellectual powers of the reader. His meaning is often obscure; he has the Celtic power of suggesting vast implications in a few words. Though romantic in his ideas, he deals satirically with sentimentalism. He believes that, as we are here in the world, we must not waste our energies on fruitless lamentations or in endeavouring to alter the system of Nature. Though he is the advocate of a strenuous life, his writings are pervaded by a spirit of comedy. With the ideas of Meredith we may not agree, of his views we may disapprove; but, however we regard him, his writings make us think, and of one thing we may always rest confident—that, whatever his manner or form of expression, he always has something to say.