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30:4, Reviews War I. In one letter Doyle recorded his own psychic experience predicting the outcome of battles in the War. In 1925 he described in touching terms the return of the spirit of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded in the Somme and died from pneumonia. Doyle argued the authenticity of the "Fairy Photographs" and similar psychic camera hoaxes. One aspect of Doyle's belief may be called literary spiritualism. During 1923 Doyle defended and quoted from a script delivered from beyond the grave by Oscar Wilde. He believed in posthumous messages from Charles Dickens completing The Mystery of Edwin Drood and in 1930, shortly before his death, quoted a poem transmitted through an amateur medium by Thomas Hardy. Unfortunately the passages by Wilde and Hardy are not even good pastiche. The careful selection of letters for The Unknown Conan Doyle provides an overview of the vast range of interests that preoccupied Doyle. The few background notes are well done, though many more are needed. Probably such material was held to a minimum to save space and cost of printing, but when Doyle argues with or replies to Beerbohm, Hall Caine, Shaw and WeUs, it is frustrating not to have notes on and complete references to the original material. And one would like to know at least the title of Housman's censored play. There is a "Categorical Index" admirably arranged by topic and a more usual index of persons, places, titles and occasional subjects. But there is at least one curious omission in the indexes. No reference is given to Sherlock Holmes— surely the first subject any reader would look up. The Unknown Conan Doyle is an exceUent collection. With their editorial skills and their wide knowledge of Doyle's life and bibliography, it is obvious that Gibson and Green are the ones to prepare the definitive edition of all Doyle's letters, both personal and public, together with his notebooks, journals and diaries, when those become available. Edward S. Lauterbach Purdue University BRITISH LITERARY MAGAZINES British Literacy Magazines: The Modern Age, 1914-1984. Ed. Alvin Sullivan. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986. $85.00 The publication of British Literary Magazines: The Modern Age, 1914-1984, edited by Alvin Sullivan, brings to an end a major publishing project. This is the fourth volume in a series, commencing in 1983, which covers the history of British literary magazines from 1689 to the present. Each book has a similar format: profiles of 80 to 90 journals with a history and information as to library holdings, a general introduction by a specialist, a chronology of literary and political events, and appendixes on related subjects such as (in this volume) lists of Scottish literary periodicals and magazines with short runs. The first three volumes covered the Augustan, Romantic, and Victorian 504 30:4, Reviews and Edwardian periods. The present one encompasses the more formidable twentieth century, and does so with considerable success. Sullivan's project is open to criticism, which is in part justified. Its weakest point concerns the potential audience. To cite three examples: The Modern Age includes a scholarly and original profile of The Review, the poetry magazine founded in 1962; a history of the Transatlantic Review (1924) that is analytical but lacking in depth; and a survey of the Fortnightly Review which serves no discernible purpose other than to make available some facts about the magazine to students. Likewise, the supplementary bibliographies range from detaüed to embarrassingly thin. Finally, the selection of magazines in this and the other volumes is open to question. Sullivan presents a cogent argument for his fourfold principle of selection: the importance of editors and contributors , the influence of the journals, the subjects it discusses, and its "prototypical " quaUties. Yet, in practice this approach is bound to be unsatisfactory . For example, why include the Quarterly Review and not the Spectator? Why profile the New Statesman in the Victorian and Edwardian volume, when its entire history (from its founding in 1913) epitomizes, indeed illuminates, the "modem age"? Why omit a history of the socialist weekly Tribune, founded in 1937, whose Uterary pages flourished in the 1940s under George Orwell's editorship ? Still, to quibble...


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pp. 504-506
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Will Be Archived 2021
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