- Anglo-French Relations in the Anglo-French Review:"Bien en Advienne"
On 26 November 1920, Ezra Pound wrote to Austin Harrison, the then-editor of the English Review: it is "a shame that Anglo-French intercourse shd. be confined so largely to the Anglo-French Review with its penchant for octogenarianism, or to the premature senile attitude of the Times Lit. Sup."1 With its conventional layout and contents, the Anglo-French Review (1919-1920) was far from an avant-garde publication. However, its clear mission to consolidate the union between England and France immediately after the Great War put the review at the forefront of international cultural and political debate. Despite current attention in the scholarship for the periodical press at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Anglo-French Review remains an unstudied magazine. As a genuinely transnational periodical focusing explicitly on Anglo-French relations, it is unmentioned in such comprehensive but nationally oriented anthologies as The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography (1947), British Literary Magazines: The Modern Age, 1914-1984 (1986), and The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Volume 1: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 (2009).2 Still, it is of an unusual cultural and literary interest since it was one of the few international magazines immediately after the war that combined the poetry of figures such as James Joyce, Richard Aldington, Arthur Symons, Paul Fort and Henri de Régnier.
This article investigates the Anglo-French Review for the first time and argues that the bilingual monthly, edited by the Englishman James Lewis May and the Frenchman Henry D. Davray, filled a gap in the periodical literature immediately after the First World War. The review positioned itself between the broad-ranging informative character of the Mercure de France (1890-1965) and the internationalism of the Criterion (1922-1939). It combined literature and politics, Symbolist [End Page 69] and Imagist poetry, English and French, and stimulated international cooperation and debate. Only by fulfilling the promises of the Entente cordiale (1904), so the editors felt, could Europe recover from the horrors of the war.
An International Periodical
In March 1919, the Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art (1855-1938) announced the arrival of a new magazine: "'The Anglo-French Review' is a new venture, intended to allow English views of France and French views of England a hearing."3 With paper being scarce and production costs at their height immediately after the war, the Anglo-French Review, published from February 1919 to December 1920, was one of the few forums wherein international relations were debated: "We believe that the best hope for the future happiness of the world lies in a close and abiding union, not only commercial, but intellectual and artistic, between England and France; and we hope and believe that in the consolidation of this union a potent factor will be found in The Anglo-French Review."4 It was generally welcomed by the press which praised the magazine's original angle and high-quality publications. The Daily Telegraph (1855-present) observed that it had appeared "in the very nick of time to press the claims of international understanding, and to widen the borders of mutual sympathy," while the Book Monthly (1903-1920) noted that it was going to be "a useful literary link between the friendly nations of Britain and France."5 The review prided itself on being overwhelmed by "unanimous and unstinting praise" not only in Europe but also in the Dominions and the United States.6 Its main goal was to align English and French public opinion, to promote Anglo-French collaboration, and to increase mutual sympathy and understanding on both sides of the Channel.
Whereas political and diplomatic action could be left to ambassadors and diplomats, intellectual and moral influence needed to be effected by specialist "moyens" and "méthodes."7 These included the juxtaposition of English and French, as well as the stimulation of cross-Channel discussion in the domains of politics, economics, science, literature and the arts. The review published equal portions of English and French, with a total of 53% of the articles in English and 47% in French...