Jeremy Treglown

Jeremy Treglown’s books include Romancing: The Life and Work of Henry Green, which won the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award.

Make use of me: Olivia Manning

Jeremy Treglown, 9 February 2006

‘A great many novels nowadays are just travel books,’ Ivy Compton-Burnett grumbled to Barbara Pym in 1960. ‘Olivia has just published one about Bulgaria.’ She hadn’t noticed that the setting of The Great Fortune is in fact Romania. But she had a point. Journeys, voluntary and enforced, are big in Olivia Manning’s work, as they had been in the first forty...


Jeremy Treglown, 6 August 1992

It can sometimes seem that the Second World War never stopped. Stephen Spender alluded recently in the London Review to the idea that it was simply a continuation of the First, but the ‘Thirty Years’ War’ view of 20th-century history has in turn to accommodate some of the later continuities of which one is reminded by both Mordecai Richler’s anthology and Ernestine Schlant and Thomas Rimer’s collection of essays. There’s the fact, among many other examples, that US air bases on Japanese territory, acquired at the end of the Second World War, were used against Vietnam. There is the durability of Central European anti-semitism. And now there is the war in Yugoslavia. Richler includes an extract from Waugh’s Unconditional Surrender (under its bland American title The End of the Battle). No one today can read the novel’s closing chapters without hearing a pre-echo of current catastrophes: ‘Summer came swiftly and sweetly over the wooded hills and rich valleys of Northern Croatia. Bridges were down and the rails up on the little single-track railway-line that had once led from Begoy to Zagreb … In one Mohammedan village the mosque had been burned by Ustachi in the first days of Croatian independence.’

I’m intrigued by Dan Hancox’s freewheeling account of my book Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory since 1936 (LRB, 2 July). He says I ‘point out’ that Picasso was ‘content to live and work in Spain under Franco’. I don’t: he wasn’t and didn’t. Franco himself, Hancox claims, ‘wrote some of the programme notes’ for the 1960 National Fine Arts Exhibition (a biennial event,...
SIR: Brigid Brophy (LRB, 22 January) may be right that in finding an ‘Eaffry’ Johnson, baptised in 1640 at St Michael’s, Harbledown, near Canterbury, she became ‘the discoverer of the birth of Aphra Behn’; though it seems likely that of the two contemporary accounts which give Behn’s unmarried name as Johnson, the later is dependent on the earlier and therefore valueless as evidence, and...

Race, God and Family: Francoism

Dan Hancox, 2 July 2015

On the eve​ of the general strike across southern Europe in November 2012, I joined a few thousand members of the CCOO, Spain’s largest trade union, for a march through Madrid. They set...

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Life at the Pastry Board: V.S. Pritchett

Stefan Collini, 4 November 2004

It was all done with a pastry board and a bulldog clip. Sheets of paper were clipped to the board, the board rested on the arms of his chair and the fountain-pen began to cover the pages with a...

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Landlocked: Henry Green

Lorna Sage, 25 January 2001

Henry Green’s masterpieces, like Party Going (1939) and Loving (1945), are devoted to demonstrating the hollowness of traditional loyalties and roles, for all the world as if he were a fictional anthropologist...

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Jenny Diski, 28 April 1994

It goes against all the currents of current wisdom that a public man should be just what he seems to be. Is there anyone left in the world who doesn’t believe at some level or other in the...

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Lucky Moments

Robert Bernard Martin, 1 April 1983

For three centuries Rochester has been in and out of the pantheon of English poetry, but today we can see more clearly that the romantic image of the lyrical libertine who underwent a spectacular...

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Reason, Love and Life

Christopher Hill, 20 November 1980

Rochester is one of the most exciting and paradoxical of English poets. Sexually ambivalent, a notorious member of the gang of young roués at the court of Charles II, he nevertheless...

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