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ELT 38:2 1995 also stands out in this book, attested by remarks concerning his wife and children, his family background, and troubles resulting from his own straitened finances and the hardships brought on by World War II. The clubbable Machen is also much in the foreground, passing on recipes for punch, recalling visits from Evans, when drinks flowed freely, and commenting on get-togethers with others (such as Holbrook Jackson, another personage whose name should not go unmentioned when the 1890s are involved). Machen's gratitude for the packages of bacon, butter, and tea sent by the attentive Evans also marks out his ever-sohuman nature, a feature in his personality that balances the sometimes judicial Johnsonian demeanor. Lest my concentration seem too restrictively literary, I note his awareness of the fihn medium, both in the days of silent types (in a reference to a film version of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and to developments that had occurred by the 1940s: pp. 35,181-82). The contents make this an eminently readable book, which expands our biographical knowledge and vision of Arthur Machen. It will also find many uses as a reference work, especially in terms of fiction in English from Poe, Dickens and Louisa M. Alcott, through Meredith, Barry Pain, Jacobs, Albert Chevalier, to Booth Tarkington, Mencken and others in the early twentieth century. Machen's thoughts about the British character, as exemplified, for example, in his comments on Charlotte Brontë and Thackeray—which lead to larger considerations— are another fascinating element in this book. On many counts, thus, it should not be missed by ELT readers. Benjamin F. Fisher ________________ University of Mississippi 1890s Editions, Continued R. K. R. Thornton and Ian Small, Editors. "Decadents, Symbolists, Anti-Decadents: Poetry of the 1890s" The Book of the Rhymers' Club/ The Second Book of the Rhymers' Club. 94 pp/136 pp. $49.50 Arthur Symons. Silhouettes/London Nights. 91 pp/106 pp. $55.00 Ernest Dowson. Verses/Decorations. 57 pp/50 pp. $48.00 William Ernest Henley. Poems. Oxford and New York: Woodstock Books, 1994. 256 pp. $55.00 EST MYPREVIOUS REVIEW of the first four volumes in this series 240 Book Reviews (see 38:1, 1995), I referred to the attractive format of these facsimile reprints. The latest volumes, here under review, continue in the same format, which includes brief biographical and critical introductions as well as selective primary and secondary bibliographies. The volume containing both books of the Rhymers' Club—with the title on the dust jacket and Woodstock's title page given as The Book of the Rhymers' Club: 1892, 1894—may momentarily confuse some readers , for the title of the second book is, of course, The Second Book of the Rhymers' Club. The facsimile page of The Second Book of the Rhymers' Club is retained in the volume and the introductory essay cites the separate titles. The dust jacket, with Beardsley's famous drawing oÃ- Les Garçons de café from the July number of the Yellow Book is an odd choice for the Rhymers' Club volume, but perhaps the intent was to suggest the place where the club habitually met, the Cheshire Cheese (though obviously very English rather than French). The significance of the Rhymers' Club—the most celebrated cénacle oÃ- poets in the 1890s—has endured because of Yeats's role in founding the club, in mythologizing several of its members as The Tragic Generation " in his autobiography, and in, for example, "The Grey Rock," which opens Responsibilities (1914): "You kept the Muses' sterner laws/ And unrepenting faced your ends." The introductory essay in the Woodstock volume gives the wrong date for the founding of the club: it was founded not in 1891 but in May 1890, when T. W. Rolleston published in that month his "Ballade of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese" (Academy, 17 May 1890), which was reprinted in The Book of the Rhymers' Club as the "Ballade of the 'Cheshire Cheese.'" In an unpublished letter to G. A. Greene, the club's "honorary secretary," on 18 October 1891, Rolleston remarks that his ballade had helped to inaugurate the Rhymers' meeting at the tavern, that "sacred spot." Some...


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pp. 240-243
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