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BOOK REVIEWS middle-class Victorian values of family, devotion to country, honor, and courage, which she like Newbolt appears never to question. A book of some passion displayed especially in the author's determination to bravely front Newbolt's many critics and to dispel the notion that Newbolt was the embodiment of a species—what Patrick Howarth named homo newboltiensis—Jackson urges her readers to see Newbolt as an individual. To this end, to enable her readers "to reappraise the contribution of the man himself," she has devoted her considerable efforts. Well-researched, bringing to her presentation of Newbolt's character and to her readings of his poetry much of the published as well as unpublished materials including the Newbolt family papers, the book—reading at times more like a biography than a critical study—is as good an examination of its subject as we are likely to see. Therefore her readers will be grateful to Jackson for so sympathetic, critically sound, and detailed a work. If her readings of individual poems are unexciting—and Jackson makes no pretense of bringing to her rehabilitation of Newbolt's work any current theoretical perspectives—they are useful and illuminating and do say as much as can be said in all reasonableness about the poetry using a conventional approach. All in all, the book does full justice to a poet who deserves an honored place, albeit a minor one, in the annals of our distinguished literary history. James G. Nelson University of Wisconsin, Madison Hardy and the Study of Mankind Simon Gatrell. Thomas Hardy and the Proper Study of Mankind. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993. ix + 195 pp. $27.50 EVERYBODY KNOWS that Thomas Hardy wrote of the publication of Swinburne's Poems and Ballads, 1866, "It was as though a garland of red roses / Had fallen about the hood of some smug nun" ("A Singer Asleep"). I would say that the publication of Thomas Hardy: The Proper Study of Mankind as a critical work on Hardy, in 1993, is like the sudden appearance of a black tie on a garish suit of many patches, inset with shining mirrors. Not having learned that biology is dead, Simon Gatrell does not set women, men, and sex in quotation marks as do the feminist critics appearing in a recently published book on Hardy misnamed The Sense of Sex. Not once does he call for inspiration or support from Bakhtin, Cixous, De Lauretis, Derrida, "the female 541 ELT 37 :4 1994 reader," Foucault, Freud, Lacan, Lévi-Strauss, Miller, or Poovey—all of whom are invoked in The Sense of Sex. Although Gatrell has written a textual study of Hardy's novels, Hardy the Creator: A Textual Biography (1988), he does not assume with Kevin Z. Moore that "It is not life' which motivates his [Hardy's] fiction but 'text'" (The Descent of the Imagination , 1990). For Moore, in Hardy's works, everywhere and always, "It is . . . romanticism [texts of British Romantic poets] that is covertly or overtly at issue." Rather than reduce Hardy to a single motivation, Gatrell considers passim the influence of experience, observation, creative vision, publisher's demands, and reader's expectations, as well as the influence of scientific, philosophical, and literary texts, upon specific aspects of Hardy's novels. Gatrell assumes that the novels are about characters, who represent human beings rather than signs or constructs. As his subtitle indicates, he assumes that Hardy was concerned with questions about human existence that had also occurred to Alexander Pope, however different their answers might have been: "What external to us causes things to happen—God, fate, destiny, the Immanent Will? how do individuals stand in relation to their environment? how do individuals stand in relation to society? and what part do individuals' own natures play in what occurs to them?" He is primarily concerned about the loss of a healthy sense of community in rural England that he thinks Hardy records in his novels, and he finds confirmation in historian Alun Howkins's Reshaping of Rural England: A Social History, 1850-1925 (1991) of Hardy's conception of the disappearing "rural consensus." In one of his most interesting chapters, he develops the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 541-544
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
N
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