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The Eyes of the World was the Best Selling Book for 1914 according to Publisher's Weekly. The novel explores what Harold Bell Wright views as the false world of artists, writers, critics, and their wealthy patrons. Two of the main characters are the famous author, Conrad LaGrange and Aaron King, an aspiring artist. LaGrange regretfully describes his writings as “filthy stories in good English” and feels he has sold his soul to become successful. While in California, recovering from a physical breakdown, he befriends Aaron King whose mother he knew when he was a boy. Lagrange serves as counselor to the young man, for he knows the pitfalls of success from his own experience.