Armenian-born Michael Arlen was at the height of his fame during the 1920s, when his book The Green Hat was published. It later became a play and movie.
Arlen enjoyed his greatest success whilst living in England, penning essays, short stories, plays and scripts, and was very much a ‘society figure’ at the time. He was even a bit of a ‘dandy’.
His ethnicity however, brought a certain amount of hostility – envious peers made jokes at his expense.
Arlen left England in the late 1920s, but returned to serve in WW2. He wrote political pieces later in life, and lived out his days in New York, where he died in 1956.
Virginia Woolf was amongst his critics, describing his literary style as outdated. Bennett was upfront about the fact he worked for monetary reward. Indeed, he held the opinion that if he could write just as well as the next man, why should the next man get paid for the work instead of he...?