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Breeding

Frank Kermode

21 July 1994
The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner 
edited by Claire Harman.
Chatto, 384 pp., £25, June 1994, 0 7011 3659 6
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Sylvia and DavidThe Townsend Warner/Garnett​ Letters 
Sinclair-Stevenson, 246 pp., £20, June 1994, 1 85619 341 1Show More
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... enough esteem to become one of the first sixpenny Penguins. (It even got a perceptible nod of approval from Downing College.) Warner had a hand in Powys’s rise to fame, having recommended him to DavidGarnett, another fantasist, whose Lady into Fox had been a great success in 1922. There seems to have been a market in those years for a peculiarly English brand of fantasy, but any imputation of ...
27 February 1992
Song of Love: The Letters of Rupert Brooke and Noel Olivier 1909-1915 
edited by Pippa Harris.
Bloomsbury, 302 pp., £17.99, November 1991, 0 7475 1048 2
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... were unusual sentiments. Song of Love provides a much clearer picture of Noel’s character than could be seen in the documents previously available. She told Rupert that when she was a child Edward Garnett had looked her over and said: ‘ “Heart-hard. Hard as nails!” I grinned with pride, and never forgot.’ Trying to push Rupert away from her, in 1912, Noel confessed: ‘The better things need ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: Samuel Palmer’s dream landscapes

17 November 2005
... echoes in English romantic painting of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, but closer to it are the slightly spooky depths of rural England evoked by novelists like T.F. Powys, Sylvia Townsend Warner and DavidGarnett ...

Matrioshki

Craig Raine

13 June 1991
Constance GarnettA Heroic Life 
by Richard Garnett.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 402 pp., £20, March 1991, 1 85619 033 1
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... as the Italians say, to translate is to traduce, isn’t plagiarism a peculiarly faithful form of betrayal, a criminalised sub-species of translation? Not if you compare, as translations, Constance Garnett’s translation of Chekhov’s tale ‘Sleepy’ with Katherine Mansfield’s alleged plagiarism, ‘The Child-Who-Was-Tired’. The Mansfield is boldly, imprudently divergent from the original. The ...
31 August 1989
Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington 1893-1932 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 342 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 7195 4688 5
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Lydia and Maynard: Letters between Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Polly Hill and Richard Keynes.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £17.95, September 1989, 0 233 98283 3
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Mazo de la Roche: The Hidden Life 
by Joan Givner.
Oxford, 273 pp., £18, July 1989, 0 19 540705 9
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Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby: A Working Partnership 
by Jean Kennard.
University Press of New England, 224 pp., £24, July 1989, 0 87451 474 6
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Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists 
by Susan Leonardi.
Rutgers, 254 pp., $33, May 1989, 0 8135 1366 9
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The Selected Letters of Somerville and Ross 
edited by Gifford Lewis.
Faber, 308 pp., £14.99, July 1989, 0 571 15348 8
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... Most people were at that time ordinary,’ said Frank Swinnerton, looking back with nostalgia to the beginning of the century, and Dora Carrington might have had the good luck to stay ordinary. DavidGarnett, introducing his selection of letters, felt that the reader might ask: ‘Who was this woman Carrington?’ She derived her importance from the fact that she lived with Lytton Strachey ...

Keeping warm

Penelope Fitzgerald

30 December 1982
Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner 
Chatto, 311 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 7011 2603 5Show More
The Portrait of a Tortoise 
by Gilbert White and Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Virago, 63 pp., £3.50, October 1981, 0 86068 218 8
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Sylvia Townsend Warner: Collected Poems 
edited by Claire Harman.
Carcanet, 290 pp., £9.95, July 1982, 0 85635 339 6
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Scenes of Childhood and Other Stories 
by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Chatto, 177 pp., £6.50, September 1981, 0 7011 2516 0
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... to Leonard Woolf after Beginning Again came out. ‘Already I am writing like a printed book, and falsifying my heart.’ Often, however, her formality couldn’t be improved upon – for example, to DavidGarnett: ‘I was grateful to you for your letter after Valentine’s death, for you were the sole person who said that for pain and loneliness there is no cure.’ It enabled her to deal with ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell

24 January 2013
Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... to life. He was much less regularly beautiful.’ Clive Bell and his family were also seen to be responsible for Julian’s fondness for country squirely pursuits. There’s a good description by DavidGarnett of Julian beagling at Cambridge: he was ‘far bigger, noisier and more raggedly dressed than any of his companions … bursting with happy excitement … Late in the afternoon Julian turned ...
17 July 1997
W.H. Auden: Prose 1926-38, Essays and Reviews and Travel Books in Prose and Verse 
edited by Edward Mendelson.
Faber, 836 pp., £40, March 1997, 0 571 17899 5
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... or an overflow. Poems (1930), for example, ended with the line about ‘New styles of architecture, a change of heart’, and the same heart murmurs can still be heard in a review of a novel by DavidGarnett in 1931 (‘The non-committal manner is not a change of heart’) and again some years later in an article in Scrutiny: ‘People and civilisations are saved by a change of heart.’ This ...

Staggering on

Stephen Howe

23 May 1996
The ‘New Statesman’: Portrait of a Political Weekly, 1913-31 
by Adrian Smith.
Cass, 340 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 7146 4645 8
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... also some obvious disasters at the literary end: the all too aptly named Hubert Bland, the incompetent Clennell Wilkinson, the pompous and plagiaristic Ellis Roberts. And there were writers who, like DavidGarnett, simply couldn’t manage the world of journalistic deadlines. Today, leftish journals face an ever-widening gulf between the concerns of ‘cultural politics’ and the day-to-day agenda of ...

Palmers Greenery

Susannah Clapp

19 December 1985
Stevie 
by Jack Barbera and William McBrien.
Heinemann, 378 pp., £15, November 1985, 0 434 44105 8
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... proof-reading, the Church of England and Dionysus – and can seem to congratulate themselves on doing so. These fictions have the elliptical urgency of notes to an intimate; they can also, as DavidGarnett complained in a letter quoted by Barbera and McBrien, become ‘an impenetrable dossier of private day-dreams’. Some of the incidents and arguments of her novels are treated more cogently ...
7 May 1987
John Galsworthy’s Life and Art: An Alien’s Fortress 
by James Gindin.
Macmillan, 616 pp., £35, March 1987, 0 333 40812 8
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... as Conrad and Ford, attending literary dinners in Soho restaurants, and espousing unlikely causes (such as opposing the Boer War). Gindin, who has an acute ear for the tell-tale phrase, quotes Edward Garnett’s recollection of Galsworthy remarking in 1900: ‘I’m not such a fool as I seem.’ Again, the chronological context of his first important work of fiction is suggestive: his father died in ...

Made in Heaven

Frank Kermode

10 November 1994
Frieda Lawrence 
by Rosie Jackson.
Pandora, 240 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 9780044409151
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The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Brenda Maddox.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 631 pp., £20, August 1994, 1 85619 243 1
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Kangaroo 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £60, August 1994, 0 521 38455 9
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Twilight in Italy and Other Essays 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Paul Eggert.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £55, August 1994, 0 521 26888 5
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... was a successful hypergamist, and did not shun the famous and the titled, but few of them missed an opportunity to remark that he himself always bore the stigmata of an underclass. According to DavidGarnett, his hair was ‘of a colour, and grew in a particular way, which I have never seen except in English working men ... incredibly plebeian, mongrel and underbred ... He was the type of the ...

Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry

5 May 2005
Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... dictated down one of these phones – Maschler’s achievements as a general trade publisher rank him with Archibald Constable, George Smith, John Blackwood, George Routledge, Frederick Macmillan, DavidGarnett, Ian Parsons, Allen Lane. It was one of the most highly regarded of today’s younger publishers, Peter Straus (now an agent), who commissioned the book. None of these coat-brushers of genius ...

At Dulwich

Alice Spawls: Vanessa Bell

17 May 2017
... emphasises Tree’s Madonna-like monumentality; the sedateness of her expression and clasped hands. More remarkable, if not so successful in totality, are Bell’s paintings of Lytton Strachey and DavidGarnett, from 1913 and 1915. The former’s glasses and beard are painted bright yellow in a strange experiment; the latter, a topless portrait, has a mother-of-pearl luminescence to its skin tones ...

Apocalypse

David​ Trotter

14 September 1989
The Rainbow 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Mark Kinkead-Weekes.
Cambridge, 672 pp., £55, March 1989, 0 521 22869 7
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D.H. Lawrence in the Modern World 
edited by Peter Preston and Peter Hoare.
Macmillan, 221 pp., £29.50, May 1989, 0 333 45269 0
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D.H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination: Essays on Sexual Identity and Feminist Misreading 
by Peter Balbert.
Macmillan, 190 pp., £27.50, June 1989, 0 333 43964 3
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... novel’s concern with history does at least suggest another Lawrence: one who has to be read against the grain of his own transcendentalism. ‘I am a passionately religious man,’ he told Edward Garnett in April 1914, as he was completing ‘The Wedding Ring’, an early version of The Rainbow and Women in Love, ‘and my novels must be written from the depth of my religious experience.’ But it ...

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