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book Reviews I Précis I Louise Kennelly University of North Carolina, Greensboro Bennett, Arnold. Riceyman Steps and Elsie and the Child. Edward Mendelson and Robert Squillace, ed. and intro. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. xxx+ 384 pp. Paper $10.95 In their introduction, editors Edward Mendelson and Robert Squillace assert that Riceyman Steps, written in 1922, is the least recognized of the twentiethcentury 's great novels. Though writers such as Woolf, Pound, and Lawrence did not believe the popular author was capable of profound work, Joseph Conrad and Elizabeth Bowen have raved about the story which charts the life of bookseller Henry Earlforward. This Penguin edition includes, for the first time, Bennett's corrected version of the text and also its sequel, Elsie and the Child. Notes are included. The text is based on the first edition by Cassell in 1923, but incorporates emendations based on the manuscript and corrections that Bennett wrote in a copy of the American first edition when he reread the book in preparation for writing Elsie and the Child. Brownstein, Rachel M. Becoming a Herione: Reading About Women in Novels. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. xxviii + 337 pp. Paper $14.95 Brownstein examines how the stories we read influence our notions of how we should live. She considers woman-centered novels written by Woolf, Eliot, and Austin, among others, as rewritings of romance and analyzes the thematic links and echoes that connect these works not only to each other but to women's lives. She shows how good novels, intelligent heroines, and careful readers are skeptical of the romantic ideal of a perfected, integral self. Becoming a Heroine is on quite the opposite side of the issue as Nina Schwartz's Dead Fathers (1994) though both have the same goal in mind: heightening the value of careful reading. Buchan, John. Préster John. David Daniell, ed. and intro. World's Classics Series. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. xxxiv + 222 pp. Paper $8.95 Buchan wrote Préster John, his sixth novel, in 1910, after he returned from South Africa. It was his first to reach a wide readership and it established him as a writer of fast-paced adventures. In his introduction David Daniell explores what sets this story apart from the boys' yams of the period. 277 ELT 38:2 1995 Butler, Christopher. Early Modernism: Literature, Music and Painting in Europe 1900-1916. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. xviii + 318 pp. $42.00 Early Modernism is an integrated introduction to the avant-garde movements in European literature, music, and painting at the beginning of the century. This book is designed to help those who know something about one of the arts involved in the Modernist movement, and who would like to know more about the larger intellectual picture and the other two arts," writes Butler in his preface. The early and always-present impetus for the book was the author's curiosity regarding how general ideas move individual men and women. While perhaps serviceable as illustrations of certain key points in Butler's arguments , the colorless reproductions are frustrating; a Matisse painting presented in black and white will always be more disappointing than helpful. The Columbia History of the British Novel. John Richetti, ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. xix + 1064 pp. $69.95 Organized chronologically, The Columbia History of the British Novel traces the development of the novel from its origins with Aphra Behn, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding, to its Victorian grandeur with Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy, to its modernist fervor with James Joyce and Virginia Woolf and, finally, to post-modernist chic with Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jeanette Winterson. In thirty-nine chapters the volume offers a cohesive complement to just about any collection of must-read classics. Nearly a dozen chapters—such as Patrick Brantlinger's The Nineteenth -Century Novel" and David Galef s "Förster, Ford and the New Novel of Manners"—are relevant to ELT interests. Fahy, Catherine, ed. W. B. Yeats and His Circle. 1989; Dublin: National Library of Ireland, 1992. 64 pp. Paper $9.95 If you don't know what Maud Gonne looked like or wonder whether Yeats...


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