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ELT 48 : 2 2005 years. This volume of/on Lawrence's visual art rounds out Sagar's corpus —the word is appropriate to his lifelong study of this body-centered writer. Indeed, the recent work may have been gestating since Sagar's own lucky purchase of a Lawrence watercolor entitled "Dandelion," which the creator described as "a naked man pissing against a wall, as the Bible says. It's most tender and touching and I shall exhibit it in London." The Levy volume refers to this painting as lost, but happily Sagar stumbled upon it in 1980, though he could not then afford to purchase it from the unnamed British collector in whose possession he serendipitously found it. Five years later, fittingly the centenary year of Lawrence's birth, Sagar named his newborn daughter Ursula after the major character in The Rainbow and Women in Love, and he purchased this painting —perhaps "the only mature Lawrence painting in Britain" (since the seized Warren Gallery paintings had escaped being destroyed as obscene on the condition that they would never again be exhibited in England )—as a present for his wife. One senses that Sagar has produced this fine new book for the same reason that Lawrence, in "Making Pictures ," said he took up painting: for the "sheer fun" of it. JUDITH RUDERMAN Duke University Colonial Conan Doyle Catherine Wynne. The Colonial Conan Doyle: British Imperialism, Irish Nationalism, and the Gothic. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002. viii + 212 pp. $61.95 IN HIS 1964 biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, Pierre Nordon devoted his opening chapter to the writer's family history, urging that "the existence of a great many ancient, varied and potently attractive family traditions ... are the key to Conan Doyle's complex character." He continued: An Irish, Catholic tradition, associated with the arts for two generations came from the Doyles. An Irish military and nationalist tradition, associated with legends and a passionate interest in history, came from the Packs and Foleys. Conan Doyle could neither relegate these traditions completely to the past, nor integrate them wholly into the present; but we cannot understand him if we ignore them. They explain his vocation as an artist and the impulse that urged him to other activities beyond literature. They explain the shadows surrounding his work—about whose modernity there is much to be said—and his reputation. 248 Book reviews Despite the influence of Nordon's biography, no one has, until now, attempted to explore in detail the Irish shadows surrounding Doyle's work. In The Colonial Conan Doyle, Catherine Wynne argues that Doyle should be read through the lens of an Irishness that is representative of the "colonial condition." Tying together the threads of her subtitle, she asserts: "As Doyle strove to become more English than the English themselves in his cult of empire, this persona is challenged and undermined by recurring Gothic themes that arise in narratives that often return us to Irish political and social concerns." Wynne begins by arguing that Doyle's fiction seeks to negotiate the claims of an identity "complicated by the Irish separatist aspirations of his period and the colonizing aspirations and norms of Victorian society ." As a confirmed Unionist who ran two unsuccessful campaigns for Parliament, Doyle believed in maintaining the empire, but his position on Home Rule did finally change. The cultural and social negotiations at work in this shift can be seen in several lesser-known short stories. In such tales as "A Sordid Affair" (1891), "Touch and Go: A Midshipmans' Story" (1886), and "That Little Square Box" (1881), Wynne claims that Doyle is reconciling "his relationship with contemporary Irish and imperial politics" in ways that are sympathetic to Irish separatist figures and ideology (which, politically, Doyle never embraced). Against this, the Holmes stories, in particular the "Holmes/Moriarity dyad," are clearly more critical of Irish identity. In The Valley of Fear (1914) "criminal Irishness ... infiltrates Doyle's writing." Wynne reads this aligning of Moriarity with criminal Irishness as particularly telling, for "If the archcriminal's [criminal Irish] organization presents the greatest challenge to his detective, [Doyle's] Irish ancestry and allegiance provide a similar challenge to his creator." Wynne's second chapter...


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pp. 248-252
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Will Be Archived 2021
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