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250 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Cambridge Women: Twelve Portraits, edited by E. Shils and C. Blacker [1996]; William Calder III, The Cambridge Ritualists Reconsidered [1991]) and Harrison as >a woman in a man=s world= (e.g., Sandra Peacock, Jane Ellen Harrison, the Mask and the Self [1988]; Mary Beard, The Invention of Jane Harrison [2000]). Robinson=s biography has been long in the making. She traces its genesis to two coincident events of 1981; its composition has run parallel to, and been fertilized by, the works just mentioned. She argues in her introduction that in addition to the more general reasons cited above for the growing interest in Harrison=s life, >[her] passionate commitment to the importance of what we feel in religion, as opposed to what we believe, and elevation of the irrational over the rational is of increasing relevance in a post-modern world.= In other words, late twentieth-century ways of thinking send us back with renewed interest to the work of scholar a century ago who seems suddenly in tune with our times. Her biography attempts to weave together the two streams of work on Harrison roughly labelled above: the >history of classical scholarship= and the >woman succeeding in a man=s world= stream. She offers a very full narrative of every period of her subject=s life, which manages to do justice to both the external context (social, cultural, and intellectual) and Harrison=s inner struggles and delights. The reader learns along the way an enormous amount about upper-middle-class Victorian family life, women=s education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the new archaeological discoveries of this period and the effects of their dissemination, the rigours of travel in Greece at this period, and the excitement of intellectual and cultural life throughout Europe both before and after the First World War. The network of friends and colleagues who contributed to the working out of Harrison=s ideas included not only luminaries of classical scholarship, both in England (Gilbert Murray, Francis Cornford, Albert Cook, James Frazer, William Ridgeway) and elsewhere (Heinrich Brunn, Wilhelm Dörpfeld), but also intellectual leaders in other fields (Bertrand Russell, Leonard and Virginia Woolf). Robinson=s book is enriched by two special features: the great wealth of quotations reproduced from the writings (both public and private) of Harrison herself and these many friends and colleagues, with whom she carried on a frequent, voluminous, and animated correspondence, and the very thorough summaries and analyses of her scholarly works, which provide the intellectual framework for the life. This biography will not likely be the last word on Jane Harrison. A genius so multifaceted and so controversial will surely continue to attract the attention of new biographers. But Robinson has done an excellent job of presenting the complexity of a very remarkable woman and scholar in terms that keep a salutary balance between the claims of various ideologies. (CATHERINE RUBINCAM) L.W. Conolly, editor. Bernard Shaw and Barry Jackson humanities 251 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 University of Toronto Press. xliv, 218. $60.00 Alex C. Michalos and Deborah C. Poff, editors. Bernard Shaw and the Webbs University of Toronto Press. xxxi, 312. $60.00 Notoriously, even diaries seldom reflect the inner personality of the writer. Letters tend to be even less revealing, particularly when a correspondent has a very public personality to cultivate B as here, where Shaw sometimes signs himself G.B.S. and is addressed as such not only by his secretary, but also by others. Yet these two collections of correspondence are in many ways a revelation. This is largely due to the way these volumes give (as far as possible) both sides of the conversation; and to the degree they represent the two central facets of Shaw=s work. Sir Barry Jackson B knighted at Shaw=s urging B was the person most closely associated with his theatre since Granville-Barker, while Sidney and Beatrice Webb were the major socialist figures in his highly political life. Both volumes also include letters from Shaw=s all to often critically...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 250-253
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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