Even as I was reading Jeremy Tarcher's "New Age as Perennial Philosophy" (Book Review, Feb. 7), my wife called my attention to the many mentions of a "New Age" in the 1922 novel by H. G. Wells, which she had just finished.
"Secret Places of the Heart" is assuredly not one of Wells' better novels, but its central thesis has a certain interest and relevance today. It would also seem to validate Tarcher's assertion that "New Age" attitudes and aspirations are not exactly new .
One of the principal characters, a Dr. Martineau, is at work on a book to be titled, "The Psychology of a New Age." The central character, Sir Richmond Hardy ("an honest rich man"), summarizes the book-in-progress for another character:
"The world, he believes, is entering upon a phase in its history, the adolescence, so to speak, of mankind. . . . There is a flow of new ideas abroad, he thinks, widening realizations, unprecedented hopes and fears. There is a consciousness of new powers and responsibilities."