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ELT 44 : 2 2001 contributors take one of three approaches to Dollimore's Sexual Dissidence : they remain silent about it, cite it in notes, or acknowledge its role in their work. Only Oliver Buckton and Andrew Hewitt decisively explain their agreement or disagreement with Dollimore. Why employ a title that will inevitably remind readers of the precursor work, as Dellamora readily admits in his introduction? In my view, Dollimore might have received more acknowledgment than he has for his influence on this collection. Finally, I can only assume that the publisher was in a hurry to get Victorian Sexual Dissidence into circulation because there is no selected bibliography; and of the twelve essays appearing in the collection, only three include reference or works consulted entries. I don't think this bibliographical irregularity will be a hindrance to anyone reading the collection from beginning to end, but it will hamper further research, particularly in the interdisciplinary fields that are so compellingly deployed in this collection. Jay Losey ______________ Baylor University T. E. Brown 100 Years After T. E. Brown. "Fo'c's'le Yarns": An Uncensored Edition of Four Manx Narratives in Verse. Max Sutton, Maureen Godman, Nicholas Shimmin, eds. Lanham: University Press of America, 1998. xxvii+297 pp. $49.00 RICHARD TOBIAS recounts T. E. Brown's droll response to being told late in life by a sympathetic friend that he "had been omitted from a list of minor writers of the Victorian period. Brown smiled and said, 'Perhaps I am among the major.'" On the Isle of Man there would be no irony or wistfulness found in this riposte. But elsewhere, the politics of popularity has left Brown, in the century following his death in 1897, shrouded with unreadability. One of the pleasures for critics of the nineteenth century is the abundance of neglected texts to be discovered— that, and the concomitant opportunity of prompting réévaluations of figures left out of the mainstream. Certainly in the last quarter century T. E. Brown's meager reputation has been slowly enlarged, first by the competent réévaluation of Tobias {T E. Brown, 1978) and more recently by Max Sutton's examination of Brown's storyteller, Tom Baynes, a Charlie Marlow-like figure {The Drama of Storytelling in T. E. Brown's Manx Yarns, 1991). But only in this new edition of Brown's Fo'c's'le Yarns, composed in irregular te246 BOOK REVIEWS trameter couplets of Manx dialect, do these tales of rustic life display the zest and pathos which, so Selwyn Simpson claimed in 1906, made them better than Tennyson's then-popular Enoch Arden. Nothing quite fits the hand and pleases the mind so much as a groundbreaking scholarly edition with explanatory and textual notes—a pristine text for urbane commentators, albeit simultaneously available to the screamers and wild-haired types with fashionably goofy agendas (though Brown, one must admit, would find a virtue in madness more easily than others of us). T. E. Brown has always been venerated by the Manx fishermen and farmers as the poet of their Celtic culture: "Natheless, for mine own people do I sing, / And use the old familiar speech, / Happy if I shall reach/ Their inmost consciousness" ("Preface"). But because he narrates his local-color stories in dialectical epic verse, the potential readership for the newly edited Yarns probably remains no greater than that of—to reach for a purely random example—an unfinished novel of ideas by Walter Pater. Ours may be too restlesss an age for the attention demanded by long narratives in verse; but Brown's chosen medium invests the tangled passions of the Manx with just those qualities Wordsworth described as his goal in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads. In the graduate or undergraduate classroom, Brown's work would denote, possibly, a certain pedagogical risk-taking; but the adventurous might find his characters to be stimulating alternatives to the annual trotting out of Wordsworth's or Hardy's rustics. Tobias observed that Brown's Fo'c's'le Yarns are too long for anthologies and that the makers of past compendia "unerringly select his worst poems." Alluded to in this connection is "My Garden," which went...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 246-252
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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