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258 Affectionate Cousins deals inevitably with the private man and its focus is on Tom's developing relationship with Marie Appia: the ardours, accidents and frustrations of courtship. Marie emerges as sensitive, intelligent and scrupulous. The account of her hesitations over whether to share her life with the genteelly agnostic Moore, whom she had slowly come to love and to admire, are full of touching, desperate and entertaining casuistries. Inevitably again, the years after marriage are tinged with anti-climax. Much of Affectionate Cousins i s a real contribution to cultural hi story aft the turn öl the century and reads like one of Charlotte Yonge's better novels: human relationship troubled by obvious differences of religious faith, resolved by the recognition that practice is sometimes more trustworthy than declared principles of beliefs. Moore was a good man even if in some nice points he fell short. Here then is the record: quiet faith; the delicate probing of motives; the family conclaves in two countries; the advice, worldly and ghostly of competent relatives. Ian Fletcher Arizona State University 6. ON GRANVILLE-BARKER Eric Salmon. Gr_££v_j_J_J_£ B_£££££l A^ ££££.£ JL LlX£· London: Heinemann, 1983. L15 The stature of Harley Granvi I Ie-Barker as a director, critic and playwright is reasonably secure, although the amount of scholarly writing on him is not particularly large. Eric Salmon, in a combination of criticism and biography, seeks to establish Granvi lie-Barker's importance as even more significant and crucial than has, perhaps, been recognized. Unfortunately, I do not think that Granville Barker: A Secret Li fe is the kind of work that will convince non-believers, and, moreover, I suspect it will antagonize his admirers. That is not to say that Salmon's work is without any redeeming features. Indeed, the purely biographical chapters are generally interesting and quite we 11-written. The information about Granvi1 Ie-Barker's life, particularly his relationships with Lillah McCarthy and Helen Huntington, is supported by generous and germane quotations from GranvilleBarker 's correspondence and other primary sources. Also reasonably persuasive and well-argued are the portions of the book devoted to Granvi11e-Barker as a director and as a critic of, in particular, Shakespeare. Here Salmon shows himself to be a creditable theatre historian who has carried out some useful research and assembled pertinent evidence. These facets lead me to look forward to Salmon's promised edition of GranviIle-Barker's letters and to expect that that will be the richly rewarding work which the remainder of the current book is not. The remainder is a critical evaluation of Granvi1le-Barker as a dramatist, and here I find I simply cannot get along with 259 Salmon's style and methodology. Quite plainly put, it is abundantly obvious that Salmon's admiration for GranvilleBarker is untempered by any sense of critical restraint. No dramatist is as good as Salmon asserts Granvi11e-Barker is, and assertion is the problem in this analysis. Although we are often presented with lengthy quotations, Salmon does little more than insist this is overwhelming evidence for his contentions. Particularly fatuous are some of the comparisons Salmon makes between Granvi 11e-Barker and other dramatists, such as Barker's duologues "have, of course, little of the complexity and profundity of Ibsen, but they nevertheless represent a considerable and creditable performance by an emerging young dramatist. They seem to me as good as, and perhaps better than, comparable passages in the almost-exactlycontemporaneous plays of Hubert Henry Davies, better than nearly all of Henry Arthur Jones or Alfred Sutro, not very far short of all but the very best of St. John Hankin, though distinctly less good than Barker himself at hi s best (which came later)" (p. 68). I suppose one can deduce Salmon has read a number of plays, but, without further evidence and analysis, that sort of statement simply will not do. Similar aspects of Salmon's rather patronizing attitude litter virtually every page (including the better biographical sections). I lost count of the number of times "of course," "in my view," "brilliantly" are used gratuitously (and symptomaticalIy). Gratuitous, too, is the lengthy paragraph on page 38 where Salmon discusses whether...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 258-260
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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