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149 Reviews although perhaps not as important as the author believes. From his surviving letters, it is clear that Burton was always plotting new, mostly whimsical, ventures , many of which never panned out, and at the same time as he supposedly told Speke about travelling to Jerusalem, he was also considering a new expedition Nile-wards from Zanzibar. Of course neither event happened, as Burton followed Speke to London within two weeks of their parting. Yet some of the writing is very fine—Carnochan’s remark that “the rage to explore is the rage to possess” is a most succinct way of expressing one of exploration’s main motives—and Speke is treated with a respect usually lacking in more pro-Burton works.There is the ring of truth to the author’s assertion that Speke, the supposed second-rater, was more adept at networking and marketing himself than the prickly Burton, or that some of Speke’s “caddish” behaviour was more thoughtless and immature than deliberately vindictive. The fact that much of the controversy over the Nile amounts to a “he said, he said” series of historical vignettes makes it nearly impossible to construct an accurate picture of responsibility and motivation. But as Professor Carnochan attempts to accommodate both explorers’ perspectives, he stays eminently fair to each while remaining critical of both men’s individual flaws and foibles. Neither Burton nor Speke would have been especially pleased with the portraits presented in these two works, but then both great wanderers often had elastic relationships with the truth. Pau l N u rse • Ford Madox Ford and the Regiment ofWomen: Violet Hunt,Jean Rhys,Stella Bowen,Janice Biala by Joseph Wiesenfarth; pp. xvi + 217. Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. $34.95 cloth. Joseph Wiesenfarth’s study of Ford’s personal and literary lives is one of several recent books on the author, who had his origins among theVictorian greats before becoming a key figure in the modernist avant-garde.This book follows the new series launched by Rodopi, International Ford Madox Ford Studies, which includesWiesenfarth’s 2004 collection on History and Representation in Ford Madox Ford’sWritings. Wiesenfarth has published on Ford numerous times and has recently acted as Janice Biala’s executor. In Ford Madox Ford and the Regiment of Women: Violet Hunt,Jean Rhys,Stella Bowen,Janice Biala, he examines the lively, often conflicting ways in which his title figures imagined and reimagined their contact with each other. Wiesenfarth begins by considering Ford’s sense of literary identity. Reading through Ford’s memoirs, he addresses the author’s complex representation victorian review • Volume 33 Number 1 150 of himself as a “proper man,” unconcerned with the details of his personal existence and devoted to creative interpretations of his own historical moment, transmuting cultural currents into lasting works of art.The subsequent chapters explore Ford’s key affairs, from the decline of his marriage to his death in 1939, figuring the women as his peers, antagonists, and muses. Wiesenfarth covers Hunt’s fierce take on Ford in her 1926 memoir The FlurriedYears (revised for America as I HaveThis to Say), Ford’s critical commentaries on Hunt’s work, as well as their treatment of each other in their fiction, such as Hunt’s “The Corsican Sisters” (1925) and Ford’s Parade’s End (1924–28). Skipping ahead to the late 1920s,Wiesenfarth focuses on the webs between Ford, his partner Stella Bowen, his new lover Jean Rhys, and her husband Jean Lenglet. As he shows, our awareness of their relationships changes the ways we might approach Rhys’s Quartet (1928), Ford’s When theWicked Man (1931), Bowen’s memoir Drawn from Life (1941), and Lenglet’s Sous les verrous (1933), later translated by Rhys as Barred. This chapter ends on a startling note, with Wiesenfarth paraphrasing Ford’s assessment of“the Jean Rhys of Quartet” as“nothing less than a drunken, nymphomanical [sic] liar” (89). His tone then warms in the book’s second half, matching the view of Ford’s relationships with Bowen and Biala as genial and fruitful until Ford’s death. Surveying Bowen’s painting career and life writing, Wiesenfarth draws an especially...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 149-151
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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