The semi autobiographical tale of Harry Cane is a touching one that will turn even the stoniest of hearts to sand. Winter is an unforgiving wilderness in which Harry finds love in the arms of another man. The treatment of homosexuals and mentally ill patients in the early twentieth century was shocking to read. The inclusion of Edwardian attitudes to such societal taboos did, however, add a further potency to this powerful and spellbinding tale.
Secrecy, he began to see, was corrosive, less of his intimate relationships than of his self-respect. He had never felt so unmanly or immature. His afternoon visits to Browning's brass bed exposed his clothed life for a sham, even as they awoke in him a whorish shamelessness he recognised as his buried essence.