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ELT 40:2 1997 contracts and copyrights, and his commercial exploitation of the Shavian connection. Weintraub speculates that Shaw may have tolerated Trebitsch (as he tolerated Harris) because he enjoyed bantering with him. In any case, Shaw's indulgent, sometimes abusive treatment of Harris and Trebitsch reveals a generous (overly generous?) impulse tempered by perhaps a streak of cruelty. In such uneasy friendships we see various aspects of Shaw's character : the Irish expatriate identifying with Irish nationalism (especially with Irish letters) while skeptical and critical of Irish temperament and politics; the tightfisted millionaire generously befriending less fortunate friends; the willing dupe exacting a price for the duplicity. The paradoxical Shaw also appears in his admiration of Queen Victoria, of the Salvation Army, of Winston Churchill. Though Shaw disagreed politically with all of these, he was "the only Marxist member of [Queen Victoria's] admiration society"; he was influenced by General William Booth's work and creed (especially in Major Barbara); and he exchanged friendly banter with Churchill, regularly offering advice and debating him in the press. Given Shaw's cordial relationship with such political opponents, it is ironic that the early admiration of his fellow iconoclast, H. L. Mencken, turned sour. Weintraub says that Mencken's attacks on Shaw are responsible for the popular misconception of Shaw "as a self-advertising clown and coiner of cheap paradoxes." Shaw's People gives us interesting glimpses of some of Shaw's famous (and not so famous) contemporaries. Its primary interest, however, is the view of Shaw that these sketches provide. The portrait that emerges is not coherent and whole. But the fragments that we are given of a complex, often contradictory, personality bring us closer to an understanding of Bernard Shaw. Elsie B. Adams San Diego State University The James Family & Shame Carol Holly. Intensely Family: The Inheritance of Family Shame and the Autobiographies of Henry James. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. χ + 227 pp. Cloth $50.00 Paper $29.95 THOUGH SHE rightly avoids the New Age language of the recovery movement, what Carol Holly is talking about here is a dysfunctional family headed by an alcoholic who was an embarrassment to his sons, whose attempts at a geographical cure were part of the reason the 206 BOOK REVIEWS family traveled so much, and who left a legacy of shame his famous children tried to cover up and deny all their lives. In what she calls an "attempt to reconstruct the emotional life of the James family," Holly chronicles the considerable ups and downs of being a member of this complicated family by analyzing their mostly unpublished correspondence , interwoven and compared with excerpts from the autobiographical writings of Henry James and with biographies and studies of the family by Leon Edel, Howard Feinstein, Alfred Habegger, and others. Using the tools of literary criticism and her own James scholarship (she is on the board of The Henry James Review and a past president of the Henry James Society), Holly is methodical about analyzing the evidence and careful in drawing conclusions. The results are convincing and make fascinating reading as familiar passages from the work of Henry James take on new dimensions in Holly's framework and some old questions get new answers. "The James family," she says, "was in large part organized around the task of meeting the emotional needs of the parents, and the parent with the greatest need was their father, Henry Sr." He was the prodigal son of William James, who made so much money that they all could live on it the rest of their lives. Henry Sr. was triply shamed by his youthful rebellion against this father in a family where the least sight of idleness, self-indulgence and indolence meant one was branded by "a Calvinist rhetoric of abasement and ruin." He became addicted to alcohol, got himself into debt, dropped out of college, and refused to follow his father's wishes for a legal or clerical career. Disinherited, he then went on to break the will, the proceeds of which meant he was "leisured for life" and could spend his days writing and studying philosophical and religious works at home among his wife and five...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 206-210
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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