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BOOK REVIEWS When Mansfield finds a felicitous phrase, she tends to repeat it in subsequent letters. In the best literary tradition she tries it out for a story. In describing the gardener's wife, a harridan "with big black hollow spaces where her teeth had been," she captures her in a single phrase: "When I said no—her 'c'est bien' was like steel spittle." In the manner of most phrase-makers, she repeats the simile to Murry in a second letter dated the same day. Occasionally, she tosses off a throwaway gem and does not repeat it: "In the evening the cicada shakes his tiny tambourine" is an image fine enough to grace one of her carefully crafted stories. Finally, one must remember that Mansfield's most personal and evocative story comes from this hideous period of enforced isolation. The Man Without a Temperament" is a thinly veiled wishfully conceived portrait of Murry, originally entitled The Exile" and, as O'Sullivan reminds us in his useful introduction, was renamed for publication, although the original title "suggested that the husband as much as the wife was a victim of circumstance." That Mansfield is in a "holding pattern" before her final burst of creative genius is clear from the fact that some of her finest stories, The Daughters of the Late Colonel," "At the Bay," The Garden Party," and "Marriage à la Mode" are still to come. Rhoda Nathan _____________ Hofstra University Black Tears D. H. Lawrence. Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Volume VII, November 1928-February 1930. Keith Sagar and James Boulton, eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. xxxvi + 683 pp. $90.00 LAWRENCE HAD SHOWN considerable spunk when The Rainbow was suppressed for obscenity and when he was persecuted for opposing the mindless violence of World War I. But the last fifteen months of his life revealed, more than ever before, his impressive personal courage. During this time he continued his frantic and rather desperate search for a salubrious climate that would restore the lung tissue that had been eaten away by tuberculosis. But his precarious health continued to deteriorate as he shifted restlessly through France, Spain, Italy and Germany while pondering the possibilities of hot islands and ravishing sun in Corsica, Morocco, Tunis, Cyprus, Jerusalem , India and even Zululand. Lady Chatterley's Lover, privately printed in Florence, was not protected by copyright; and pirated editions, capitalizing on its notoriety, 215 ELT 37:2 1994 drained away Lawrence's valuable royalties. The police raid on his nude paintings at the Warren Gallery in London in July 1929 also caused severe emotional strain, wasted his precious energy and hastened his death. But he continued to write until the very end of his life, turning out short articles for the English newspapers and also composing important essays: "Pornography and Obscenity" and "A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover," the barbed verse in Pansies and Nettles, his two greatest poems, "Bavarian Gentians" and The Ship of Death" (the last word on his own extinction), and his final book, Apocalypse. As Aldous Huxley observed, confirming Lawrence's will to live, "by all the rules of medicine, he should have been dead. For the last two years he was like a flame burning on in miraculous disregard of this fact that there was no more fuel to justify its existence." Lawrence, relatively idle during this moribund period, was rather reluctant to meet new people and thought he could "sit still on a bench and be quite happy, just seeing the sea twinkle and the fisher folk potter with their lobster pots. What is there to say any more, to ordinary people at least?" And he found it a great effort to correspond unless it was absolutely necessary. His best letters, written to his closest friends— Huxley, Koteliansky, the Brewsters, Ottoline Morrell, Mabel Luhan and Dorothy Brett—have been previously published and endlessly reprinted . But most of the letters, and nearly all the new ones in this edition, are extremely tedious and repetitive business correspondence with his agents (Pollinger and Nancy Peam), his trade publishers (Seeker and Knopf), and his editors at the small private presses (Orioli and Edward Titus, Charles Lahr, Percy Stephensen and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 215-220
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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