Enough is enough

Patricia Beer

In her introduction to Antonia White’s Diaries the editor, her elder daughter Susan Chitty, quite naturally raises the question of whether or not they should have been published at all. But such doubts as she may have had, and conquered, have apparently nothing to do with the amount of coverage her mother’s life needs or justifies. She obviously feels the subject is inexhaustible. Many readers might disagree. We already have Antonia White’s sequence of unashamedly autobiographical novels, starting with Frost in May in 1933. We have her own straight account of her early life, As once in May. Then there are other autobiographical pieces: short stories and attempts at further novels and, for good measure, a set of highly autobiographical letters, The Hound and the Falcon, which are concerned with her Catholicism.

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