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In her novels and short stories, May Laffan Hartley (1849–1916) depicts the religious and political controversies of late nineteenth- century Ireland. Helena Kelleher Kahn reintroduces us to Laffan’s vivid, witty fiction, rich in political and social commentary. Laffan did not offer clear-cut approval to one side or the other of the social and religious divide but weighed both and often found them wanting. She adds a missing dimension to the Irish world of Wilde, Shaw, Moore and Joyce. A woman of the age subtly embroiders the acute challenges and divisions of middle-class Ireland. As Kahn says, “she chose to write about the alcoholic ex-student, the impecunious solicitor, the farmer or merchant turned politician, and their often resentful wives and children. On the whole her world view was pessimistic. Rural Ireland was a beautiful intellectual desert. Dublin was a place to leave, not to live in.” This account of her life and work will be of interest to students of Anglo-Irish literature and history, as well as women’s studies.
Hugh Clifford and the Discipline of English Literature in the Straits Settlements and Malaya 1895-1907
Hugh Clifford’s position as both colonial official and writer sets him apart from such contemporaries. His career as colonial administrator in the Malaya and Straits Settlements spanned five decades, and his Malayan short stories, novels and sketches draw an elaborate series of parallels between the act of governing the colony and the discipline of writing a literary text. In Modern Subjects/Colonial Texts Philip Holden places Clifford’s writing in the context of the British "Forward Movement" in the Malay Peninsula, the evolving strategies of colonial governance, and their reception and reinscription by colonial elites. What makes Holden’s study especially interesting is his careful analysis not only of Clifford’s unique role as administrator and writer, but his probing of Clifford’s doubts about the colonial enterprise. The central contradiction of colonialism pervades his fiction. In its late nineteenth-century guise colonialism promised improvement and the uplifting of subject peoples, yet it could not admit them to a position of social equality since at that moment the basis for colonialism would vanish. Holden reveals how the experience as a colonial administrator made Clifford suspicious of the economic expediency which often underlies the rhetoric of mission and duty. Clifford also comes to have doubts about the success of masculinity as a practice of the regulation of the self. As the last chapter of Holden's study shows, such doubts and contradictions were exploited in the reception of Clifford's texts by colonial elites such as the Straits Chinese.
Dorothy Richardson Annotated
Dorothy Richardson's thirteen-volume Pilgrimage is crowded with references from the last decade of the Victorian era and the first decade of the twentieth century. The interests of the protagonist Miriam Henderson are wide-ranging, from ecology to economics, from fiction to philosophy, from the mores of the family to the morals of the nation. Pilgrimage's stream-of-consciousness narrative evokes these references and interests in elusive, complex ways. Even accomplished readers, following in the wake of the heroine's personal revelations, are hard-pressed to understand aspects of the more public scene from turn-of-the-century England. Notes on 'Pilgrimage' , by identifying historical persons, events, ideas, quotations and writings that underpin Richardson's story, illuminates these factual details and enriches understanding of the narrative. A translation of all foreign words and phrases, a record of textual misprints and a thorough index add to the value of the book.
A Supplement to "Oscar Wilde Revalued"
Oscar Wilde: Recent Research updates and reconceptualizes the bibliographic objectives of the earlier Oscar Wilde Revalued. This new volume surveys research on Wilde from 1992 to 2000, but in a much more explicitly evaluative manner. The opening chapter, “Wilde in the 1990s,” traces the main directions of Wilde research over the past decade. Critical material is then reviewed under three broad categories. The first, Biography, is concerned with the continuing fascination with Wilde’s life, and its emphasis on how critics have moved on from dissatisfaction with Richard Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde (1987). Recent Critical Paradigms evaluates research channelled through master-narratives that have emerged in the 1990s, ways of describing Wilde’s work: the “gay” Wilde, the “Irish” Wilde, and “Wilde and Consumerism.” Wilde the Writer, the third category, centres on an important trend in research during the last decade, what might be thought the less glamorous aspects of the oeuvre—from the seriousness with which Wilde took his role as a poet, to the sheer amount of time he devoted to writing journalism, to the complexities of the production and staging of the plays. Oscar Wilde: Recent Research also contains sections devoted to sources and intertexts, to thematic studies, to essay collections, and to critical monographs which take Wilde as their sole subject. The book includes information about new research resources, and about manuscript discoveries and letters. It concludes with an extensive bibliography organized alphabetically and in terms of Wilde’s works and an index of critics.
In this collection of essays, distinguished scholars continue their careful research into the life and literature of Walter Pater. The book includes subjects for the apprentice as well as the expert: from a scandal during Pater's days at Oxford to the influences upon him by Wordsworth and Arnold, and in turn his influence on Hopkins and Joyce; from objections to traditional ways of view Pater's impressionist criticism and ethical concerns to analyses of his discriminating uses of historiography and architecture. Readers should not that the print version of Pater in the 1990s is out of print.
In The Poetry of Henry Newbolt, Jackson gives us a fresh look at the man, his poetry and their historical context. Her discussions of his heroic and lyric poems are framed by a close examination of the institutionalized values that lay behind Newbolt's popularity. She looks a the intimate ties between his life-code and his education.
John Henry Gray (1866-1934) is best remembered as the possible original of Oscar Wilde's famous fable The Picture of Dorian Gray. But Gray was himself poet, short story writer, novelist and translator of some distinction as well as an exquisite, a working class dandy, not to mention a person of singular personal beauty. His poetry and prose have again begun to attract attention beyond a small circle. Such critics as Geoffrey Grigson, Bernard Bergonzi, Ruth Z. Temple and Isobel Murray have praised his work, while the devoted labor of Father Brocard Sewell on Gray's biography has also assisted in once more bringing this gifted and attractive figure to presence. One reason for such a delayed fame is that much of Gray's verse was published in severely limited editions or remains fugitive. As a consequence, his work is not merely difficult to obtain, but it is impossible to see whole. Reader should take note: the print edition of The Poems of JOhn Gray is out of print.
Poet, Architect, Typographer, Art Historian
Herbert Horne (1864-1916) was a figure of alarming versatility: poet, architect, editor, essayist, typographer, designer of books, and the first scientific historian of art from the British Isles. is great book on Botticelli has been called by John Pope-Hennessy "the best monograph in English on an Italian painter." Horne's splendid editorship of the Century Guild Hobby Horse led Bernard Berenson and others to hail him as the successor of William Morris. Horne the connoisseur also gathered a choice selection of drawings and paintings which await closer appreciation. They are housed in his residence, now the Museo Horne, Florence, Italy. In spite of his achievements he passes unmentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography, and aside from distinguished but brief discussions of his art activities by Fritz Saxl and Frank Kermode, no book-length study has been devoted to him until this volume. Readers should note: the 1990 print edition of Rediscovering Herbert Horne is out of prnt.
Life, Love, and Art
This is William Dillingham’s third book studying the relationship between Rudyard Kipling’s inner life and his writings. The focus is on major short stories, mainly from Kipling’s later period, beginning with an earlier work, “‘The Finest Story in the World,’” and concluding with the last story he wrote, “‘Teem’—a Treasure Hunter.” Rudyard Kipling: Life, Love, and Art analyzes stories that are not only among Kipling’s most accomplished but also demonstrably in need of a fresh, thorough reassessment, furnishing insights into how such intricately complex works as “‘Wireless,’” “Mrs. Bathurst,” “The Bull That Thought,” and “The Wish House” were conceived and how they reflect Kipling’s most cherished beliefs, including his commitments and his fears. As Professor Dillingham says, “we find that frequently at their core are matters that deal with the heart of his craft and subjects that pervade his writings: life, how it should and should not be lived; love, what is healthy about it and what is perilous; and Art, what it is in broad terms ‘proper work’ and how crucially important it is to one’s sense of identity.”
A Second Book of Words
A Book of Words, Kipling’s own selection of his speeches published in 1928, reflects a variety of topics and audiences. He spoke to schoolboys about literature, to Brazilians about “the spirit of the Latin,” to the Royal Geographical Society about travel, to navy men about sailors, to ship owners about shipping, to university students about independence. Many of his speeches have remained uncollected and virtually unknown. A Second Book of Words collects what Kipling left uncollected. The speeches in this new book date from 1884 to 1935. We see Kipling at different moments before different audiences. We hear how he talked to his Sussex neighbors, or how he addressed a parliamentary committee, or a South African election meeting, or a club of London doctors, or his fellow honorary degree recipients at Cambridge. The more substantial, formal speeches are equally various, marked by Kipling’s mastery of language, a few passing over into a violent extravagance of feeling—the attack on the Liberal government in the speech of 16 May 1914 or the speech on war aims of 15 February 1918. Usually, however, the tone is urbane, the artistic aim to instruct through delight. Kipling knew that the maker of speeches and the poet were subject to the same law: “Unless they please they are not heard at all.” A Second Book of Words adds another forty-eight speeches to the thirty-eight that Kipling chose to make public, printing all the known uncollected speeches—long or short, carefully meditated or spontaneous, tendentious or diplomatic. Another twenty-five for which no text has so far been found are identified, as are the speeches that he is known to have written for members of the royal family.