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New Women

Patricia Beer

17 July 1980
The Odd Women 
by George Gissing.
Virago, 336 pp., £2.50, May 1980, 0 86068 140 8
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The Beth Book 
by Sarah Grand.
Virago, 527 pp., £3.50, January 1980, 0 86068 088 6
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... new sexual type had in fact taken place forty years earlier when, in The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins offset his pretty, insipid, helpless heroine by a second heroine who was none of these things: the great Marian Halcombe, whose charm subdued not only the equally great Count Fosco in the book but also such men of the readership as Swinburne and Edward ...
8 December 1994
The Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld 
edited by William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft.
Georgia, 399 pp., £58.50, June 1994, 0 8203 1528 1
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... predictably to unmask the monstrous as the delightfully ordinary. Borrowings from Milton, Pope and Collins give some of her verse a familiar, slightly secondhand sound, as does her use of structures such as the extended simile, comparison/contrast and allegory, which are employed so frequently that they produce a comfortable predictability. If all this ...

Noticing and Not Noticing

John Mullan: Consciousness in Austen

20 November 2014
The Hidden Jane Austen 
by John Wiltshire.
Cambridge, 195 pp., £17.99, April 2014, 978 1 107 64364 2
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... At the Netherfield ball our heroine has had to endure two clumsy turns of the floor with Mr Collins, before enjoying a dance with an unnamed officer who has conversed happily about Mr Wickham’s popularity among his fellow militia members. She is talking to Charlotte Lucas when she finds herself ‘suddenly addressed ...

A Row of Shaws

Terry Eagleton: That Bastard Shaw

21 June 2018
Judging Shaw 
by Fintan O’Toole.
Royal Irish Academy, 381 pp., £28, October 2017, 978 1 908997 15 9
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... illegitimate. He was opposed to political violence, though he dined with the IRA leader Michael Collins three days before his death in an ambush. He also spoke alongside the revolutionary James Connolly in the Albert Hall in 1913, when he insisted that citizens engaged in political protest should form their own force to defend themselves against police ...
3 April 1980
... minute particulars such as you find in Jane Austen – poor Miss Bates’s twice-baked apples, Mr Collins’s ‘Collins’, the comedy of the infinitely small. It cannot have been simply a class limitation, or a limitation of experience, that intimidated his pen. It was a resolve, very American, to scrape his sacred texts ...

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