Marie Corelli’s Love—and the philosopher, published in 1923, pits the “Philosopher”, an apparent cynic imbued with fin-de-siècle pessimism, against the “Sentimentalist”, the bright, young, pretty daughter of a wealthy old man with whom the Philosopher is collaborating on a book about the deterioration of language. Romance is the terminus ad quem. But who attains it? From the foreword:
The following story is of the simplest character, purposely so designed. It has no “abnormal” or “neurotic” episodes; no “problems”and no “psycho-analysis”. Its “sentiment” is of an ordinary, every-day type, common to quiet English homes where the “sensational” press find no admittance, and where a girl may live her life as innocent of evil as a rose;—where even the most selfish of cynical “philosophers” may gradually evolve something better than self. There are no “thrills”, no “brain storms”, no “doubtful moralities”—no unnatural overstrained “emotionalisms” whatever.
See Philosophical Fortnights for more.