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Imperial Refugee

Olivia Manning’s Fictions of War

by Eve Patten

Publication Year: 2012

Olivia Manning (1908-1980) had a reputation as a difficult personality and this has threatened to obscure her reputation as a writer. The book aims to recover Manning’s place as a pre-eminent novelist of British wartime experience. Manning belonged to a British literary generation which held tenaciously to its diverse Irish connections in the wartime years, but, as with Cyril Connolly or Lawrence Durrell, her claims on Irishness were intermittent and often distinctly pragmatic.The book deals in depth with a diverse range of biographical, historical and literary detail. It examines the troubled interface between public and domestic narratives” and the ways in which Manning developed, through her experiences of living in Romania, Athens, Egypt and Jerusalem, her creative methods of politicising the refugee experience. As well as looking at Manning’s novels within their diverse settings the book also examines the varied literary modes Manning deploys and adapts – the gothic, autobiography and writing the self, the serial novel, the wartime and epic and more.Although interest in World War II literature has been proliferating over the past twenty years a full length study of Manning will be of great interest to scholars of modern British literature and cultural history. In the fields of postcolonial and transnational studies, Manning should be a necessary presence as she crosses geographical, political, and cultural borders in her life and writing. Her experiments with ‘the serial form’ also provide critical gloss to studies of modernism and realism as well as being of great import to the now burgeoning study of the Middlebrow.

Published by: Cork University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Acknowledgements

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p. vii-vii

This study engaged me over a number of years, and I am indebted to many people for their help in bringing it to completion. My thanks are due, first and foremost, to . . .

Abbreviations

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p. viii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

Olivia Manning’s reputation as a difficult personality often threatens to obscure her reputation as a writer. Few twentiethcentury novelists . . .

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Chapter One - A life in writing

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pp. 11-46

Olivia Manning belonged to a British literary generation which held tenaciously to its diverse Irish connections in the wartime years, but, as . . .

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Chapter Two - The Balkan Trilogy: Romania and the far end of Europe

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pp. 47-78

At the first mention of going to Roumania, a great many persons, as did myself, would take down their atlas and open the map’, wrote . . .

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Chapter Three - From Athens to Alexandria: The contexts of Personal Landscape

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pp. 79-109

All through this beautiful summer’, wrote Manning to her fellow novelist Jocelyn Brooke in September 1964, ‘I have been closeted in my . . .

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Chapter Four - Egypt, the desert war and the Levant Trilogy

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pp. 111-142

The three novels first published together in 1982 as the Levant Trilogy are among the most vivid fictional representations of wartime . . .

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Chapter Five - 'John Bull’s Other Ireland’: Manning’s Palestine fiction

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pp. 143-172

This recollection of Olivia Manning from one of her contemporaries in wartime Palestine provides a telling example of how . . .

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Conclusion - The Rain Forest

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pp. 173-182

In 1945 Olivia Manning and her husband returned from Palestine to an England much changed since their hasty pre-war departure. For their generation, and . . .

Notes and References

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pp. 183-218

Bibliography

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pp. 219-229

Index

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pp. 231-234


E-ISBN-13: 9781908634214
Print-ISBN-13: 9781859184820
Print-ISBN-10: 1859184820

Publication Year: 2012