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Another irritating characteristic of Kiberd's criticism is the shifting definitions he uses. If Lawrence is accused by critics of making his women sound like his men, as has been said of Hermione and Ursula in Women in Love, Kiberd defends this because "both women are in love" with the same man "and to love someone is to try to see the world through that person's eyes" (p. 148). Yet he is quick to condemn Shaw's women as masculine on the surface evidence of cigar smoking and strong handshakes. For Kiberd, Shaw's explanation to those who felt that his characters reflected "extraordinary knowledge of women"—that "I have always assumed that a woman is a person exactly like myself—was evidence his ' New Woman" was "a man in drag" (p. 62). Of course, no woman properly dedicated to motherhood, the family, and the comfort of males would exhibit such "unfeminine" traits. Consequently, despite paying lip service to androgynous women as well as androgynous men as a new sexuality of the future, Kiberd clearly limits that so-called androgyny in women because of what he considers inescapable biological truths. Such strong prejudices inevitably influence and weaken his criticism of the literature as well. Thelma J. Shinn Arizona State University BRIEFER MENTION Brady, Anne M., and Brian Cleeve. A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Writers. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. $35.00 This is a new edition of the Dictionary of Irish Writers. Particular attention is given to "present-day writers in both Irish and English." Authors of academic studies have been included "if a book of this kind has made some stir outside specialist circles." Say Brady and Cleeve: the purpose of the work is "to offer as much biographical and critical material as possible" about Irish writers from the time of St. Patrick to our own day. The dictionary will "give the general reader . . . and the nonspecialist student an idea of the author's substance and interest, rather than a minutely detailed list of all his works with their various editions and publishers." There are some 1,800 entries in all. Hardy, Barbara. Forms of Feeling in Victorian Fiction. Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1985. $21.95 ELT readers may want to peruse Chapters Six ("Thomas Hardy: Passion in Context. The Trumpet Major. A Form of Pathos") and Seven ("Henry James: Reflective Passions"). Says Hardy: "This book deal with the attempt made by the major Victorian novelists to discover 'the shape of that which we have felt.' Their effort can be polarized in terms of the figure of personification, with its claim to definition and analysis, and its opposite, the figure of incapacity, or what Ernest Robert Curtius called 'the topos of inexpressibility."' Other authors considered are Dickens, Thackeray, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, and George Eliot. 459 Hawkins, Desmond. The Tess Opera. Taunton, Somerset: The Thomas Hardy Society, Ltd., 1984. 75p Hawkins provides a detailed narrative of Baron d'Erlanger's rendering of Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles into an opera, including specifics of the history of its performances on stage and radio, a discography, and information not available in any other studies on Hardy. Knight, Alanna. Robert Louis Stevenson Treasury. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. $35.00 The Treasury is a reference tool on the life and work of Stevenson. Separate listings are given for unpublished manuscripts, characters, places, letters, poems, novels, radio and film presentations. Says Knight: "I have consulted as many books and articles as I could lay my hands on, including the Tusitala Edition of his collected works, and exhaustive searches in the archives have revealed a great deal, but by no means all, of the literature about him." Peterson, Linda H. Victorian Autobiography: The Tradition of SelfInterpretation . New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1986. $23.00 ELT readers may want to take note of Chapter Six, "Gosse's Father and Son: The Evolution of Scientific Autobiography." Says Peterson, "The Victorian writers of this study-Carlyle, Newman, Martineau, Ruskin, Gosse—represent both corporately and individually the strongest autobiographers of the English tradition." They "had worked within (and against) a strong autobiographical tradition, and thus, paradoxically, they had known the real...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 459-460
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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