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pass these and leave them behind; we ought not be frightened by them since they are really only hollow bogeymen" (p. 38). And "the 'Musical Banks' at which the Erewhonians worship are used to express Butler's criticism of ethical dualism and of religious hypocrisy" (p. 41). All of this is true enough, but the discussion goes on in this "summary manner" page after page. In Chapter 4, he interrupts a discussion of THE WAY OF ALL FLESH in order to discuss LIFE AND HABIT: "Since so many of Butler's ideas about inherited memory are incorporated into THE WAY OF ALL FLESH it will be wel1 to discuss... this subject before examining the novel" (p. 60). However, when Prof. Holt returns to his examination of the novel in Chapter 8, he does not discuss THE WAY OF ALL FLESH in relation to LIFE AND HABIT at all. Again the reader is left to make his own connections. I might add that this is not a task that U. C. Knoepflmacher imposes on the reader in his discussion of THE WAY OF ALL FLESH and LIFE AND HABIT in his book RELIGIOUS HUMANISM AND THE VICTORIAN NOVEL. I feel that Professor Holt's book can be profitably read by a beginning student of Butler. He obviously has a sound knowledge of his material. But his lack of organization and depth in presenting this knowledge leads him to produce a disappointing product. Purdue University Philip Armato 4. Gissing and Gabrielle: Private Lives THE LETTERS OF GEORGE GISSING TO GABRIELLE FLEURY. Edited by Pierre Coustillas. NY: The New York Public Library, 1964. Paperbound: $5.00; clothbound: $6.50. In his Introduction, Mr. Coustillas has provided a fine summary of the facts of Gissing's life, and, more important, a far more just portrait of Gabrielle Fleury than we have had before. There is perhaps more evidence here of Gissing's physical and emotional being and less of the artist and intellectual than in most other published autobiographical writings. Without Mr. Coustillas' Introduction, the letters might easily be misread as the work of a rather stuffy pedantic man who forces endearments into his letters at more or less appropriate places as convention demands . Mr. Coustillas' review of the.period prior to 23 June 1898, the date of the first letter, however, leaves little doubt of Gissing's desperate need at this point for a woman like Gabrielle. His desperation is borne out in the letters by occasionally adolescent caution, at other times by equally adolescent show of passion, sometimes by the suppression of information which might stand between Gissing and Gabrielle, and sometimes even by downright misrepresentation. Coming to him when she did, Gabrielle Fleury almost seemed 1 ike a fulfillment of Edwin Reardon's dreams "of a beautiful and intellectual wife." Her effect on Gissing's literary life was to widen "the circle of his acquaintances and put him in touch with influential people of the French literary world"; "she helped to extend the European aspect of his culture," an influence which is evident in THE CROWN OF LIFE; and she made him still better known on the Continent by translating and having published NEW GRUB STREET as well as by translating some of his stories. Unfortunately , Gissing did not live long enough "to reap the seeds she had so lovingly sown" and to write a second volume, under her inspiration, in the manner of HEMRY RYECROFT. Mr. Coustillas, unlike some writers on Gissing, does not delude himself or us about the "idyllic" last years of Gissing's life. As Coustillas frankly admits, 312 there were many moments of tension and anxiety and exasperation, most of them caused by Maman, Gabrielle's mother, the tyrant of the kitchen and patronizing Gallic matriarch. Nor does Mr. Coustillas portray Gabrielle's character as flawless. Especially after Gissing's death, Gabrielle, in Coustillas' portrait of her, is revealed as fanatically faithful to Gissing's memory but also as distrustful of most of Gissing's friends, except Clara Collet. She became increasingly more hostile toward the Wellses; vehement toward Morley Roberts, although not wholly without justification; unjustifiably antagonistic toward Edward Clodd; and resentful toward Ellen and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 311-312
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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