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ELT 49 : 1 2006 erature, or with the growing study of the history of the book can be without it. As an exemplar of the art and science of bibliography it has few peers. It seems unlikely that it will ever be replaced, even if details are superseded by new discoveries. Coustillas himself, indeed, may offer future revisions on the basis of further evidence—such as the lost early American short stories, if ever found, or the proofs or MS of the unpublished novel Mrs. Grundy's Enemies (abandoned in 1885 in a fit of Mudie-induced tremors by Richard Bentley), or early manuscript material scattered via auction houses and likely to turn up again. "Coustillas on Gissing" will remain for many years ahead the atlas of the Gissing world. It makes a major contribution to our understanding of the workings of the Victorian book trade and its impact on the wider culture. Here, it stands in the tradition of the annales school of "total" history. In addition to descriptions of the books Coustillas offers important material concerned with the physical and the psychic form of the book, with concepts of authorship, with the conditions of authorial agency, and with the reading process in a wider evolving culture. This is fine wine, truthfully labelled, and in a handsome bottle too. JOHN SPIERS __________________ University of London Bryher's Novel Reissued Visa for Avalon: A Novel by Bryher. Introduction, Susan McCabe. Ashfield , MA: Paris Press, 2004. xxii + 157 pp. Paper $15.00 CRITICAL ATTENTION has tended to elide Bryher's creative fiction . Born Winifred Ellerman (1894-1983), the Englishwoman best known as lifelong intimate companion to H.D., Bryher tends to be classified in the canon of modernist literature and early cinema as an enabler and supporter of the work of others. Indeed, she generously provided income to many writers such as Dorothy Richardson and Marianne Moore; founded the publishing outlet Contact Editions with Robert McAlmon; founded and co-edited, with Kenneth Macpherson, Close Up, the first English language magazine to engage cinema as serious art; restored and edited the journal Life and Letters Today; promoted the self-discoveries of psychoanalysis like an evangelist; and paid for H.D.'s analysis in Vienna with Sigmund Freud. Her writings include film criticism, literary and general essays, voluminous correspondence, two volumes of poetry, and two memoirs. Her published fiction includes three romans à clef, six historical novels, and the futuristic novel Visa for Avalon, which first appeared in 1965 (Harcourt, Brace & World), reissued now by Paris Press with an introduction by Susan McCabe. 114 BOOK REVIEWS Recently, her earliest autobiographical novels, Development and Two Selves, were reissued in one volume as Two Novels, edited by Joanne Winning (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000). Thanks to these editions, we may now read some of her fiction with advantageous perspective. The early novels offer remarkable entrance into the developing mind of a spirited adolescent thrown into the stifling learning disciplines of early twentieth-century British education for women. To read these narratives written in 1920 and 1923 as a young woman's absorption within the circumstances of her own life holds for today's readers the pungency of the historical novel—the genre for which Bryher is best known. Her one novel of science fiction, Visa for Avalon, was written in mature life. In this new reissue, the publisher, Jan Freeman, states in a prefatory note that she was "haunted" by Bryher's book, a work to be viewed as a "message" and a "warning" for our time. Indeed, Bryher aimed in this novel to educate people about the dangers of apathy towards government. In a conference paper on her film criticism, I've termed Bryher a "didactic visionary"—envisioning a better world, she listed methodologies, such as use of cinema in education, which might further equality of opportunity (Modernist Studies Association, 2000). Many of her writings are informed by firm didactic intention. Bryher's moral dedication to her novel's theme is best understood in light of her life experiences. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Bryher , then living in Switzerland, often visited Berlin and enjoyed the city's vibrant cultural ferment among figures in psychoanalysis...


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