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Radical Egoism

Stuart Hampshire, 19 August 1982

The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Vol II: June 1913-October 1916 
edited by George Zytaruk and James Boulton.
Cambridge, 700 pp., £20, May 1982, 0 521 23111 6
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Selected Short Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Brian Finney.
Penguin, 540 pp., £1.95, June 1982, 0 13 043160 5
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The Trespasser 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £22.50, April 1982, 0 521 22264 8
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... Cynthia Asquith, Ottoline Morrell, Bertrand Russell, Edward Marsh, Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield, Philip Heseltine, Mark Gertler. The letters to Russell tell a particularly vivid story. Lawrence harassed Russell relentlessly and at great length, repetitiously and in a wilfully unpleasant tone. He kept on banging away at Russell’s vaunted ...

Men in Love

Paul Delany, 3 September 1987

Women in Love 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen.
Cambridge, 633 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 521 23565 0
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The Letters of D.H. Lawrence: Vol. IV, 1921-24 
edited by Warren Roberts, James Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 627 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 521 23113 2
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... and now Sallie Hopkin was dead at 55. The other letter, written to Murry on the death of Katherine Mansfield, could not hope to console, for the quarrels that had divided them and Lawrence since 1916 were too bitter. ‘I feel like the Sicilians,’ Lawrence wrote. ‘They always cry for help from their dead. We shall have to, cry to ours: we do cry.’ He ...

I have no books to consult

Stephen Sedley: Lord Mansfield, 22 January 2015

Lord MansfieldJustice in the Age of Reason 
by Norman Poser.
McGill-Queen’s, 532 pp., £24.99, September 2013, 978 0 7735 4183 2
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... Westminster School and then Christ Church, Oxford, at both of which he shone as a scholar. Lord Mansfield, as Murray became, spanned the 18th century in more than simply years, though living from 1705 to 1793 was a good start. As chief justice of the King’s Bench for 32 years, he modernised an antiquated system of common law and rationalised a diffuse ...

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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... is used elsewhere in Sense and Sensibility and in Austen’s next novel, Pride and Prejudice. When Elizabeth Bennet rejects Mr Darcy’s proposal, she nonetheless finds herself gratified ‘to have inspired unconsciously so strong an affection’. To be ‘unconscious’ is simply not to notice something in the world around you. Then, in ...

Mrs Bowdenhood

C.K. Stead, 26 November 1987

Katherine MansfieldA Secret Life 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 292 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 670 81392 3
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... Katherine Mansfield, unlucky in life, has been lucky in death. Where some figures sink under successive waves of literary fashion, she remains buoyant. One Mansfield vanishes but another takes its place. If you measure simply by the fictional product you might conclude she has had more than her fair share of attention ...

Bogey’s Clean Sweep

Michael Holroyd, 22 May 1980

The Life of Katherine Mansfield 
by Antony Alpers.
Cape, 466 pp., £9.50, May 1980, 0 224 01625 3
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... 1922, in a letter for her husband John Middleton Murry to be opened after her death, Katherine Mansfield wrote: All my manuscripts I leave entirely to you to do what you like with. Go through them one day, dear love, and destroy all you do not use. Please destroy all letters you do not wish to keep and all papers. You know my love of tidiness. Have a ...

Mary Swann’s Way

Danny Karlin, 27 September 1990

Jane Fairfax 
by Joan Aiken.
Gollancz, 252 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 575 04889 1
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Lady’s Maid 
by Margaret Forster.
Chatto, 536 pp., £13.95, July 1990, 0 7011 3574 3
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Mary Swann 
by Carol Shields.
Fourth Estate, 313 pp., £12.99, August 1990, 1 872180 02 7
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... names are horribly homophonic – could this have given her the idea?) is the author of Mansfield Revisited, which seems to have been successful enough to persuade her to try the market again. I have only ever read one such work, the continuation of Sanditon by ‘a Lady’ published some years ago; the bitter taste still lingers on, and I have a ...

The Importance of Aunts

Colm Tóibín, 17 March 2011

... left for that purpose. There is a mother in Pride and Prejudice, but there are also two aunts: Elizabeth Bennet’s Aunt Gardiner and Mr Darcy’s aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh. It is an aspect of Austen’s genius that, while the novel negates the power and influence of Elizabeth’s mother, neutralises her by being ...

A Piece of Single Blessedness

John Burrows, 21 January 1988

Jane Austen: Her Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 452 pp., £16.95, October 1987, 0 297 79217 2
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... the standard life (1913) by W. and R.A. Austen-Leigh.* The chief additions, for many years, were Elizabeth Jenkins’s Jane Austen (1938); the concise but illuminating early chapters of Mary Lascelles’s Jane Austen and Her Art (1939); and R.W. Chapman’s close work on the documents, first published in notes to his unrivalled edition of the novels and his ...

Yawning and Screaming

John Bayley, 5 February 1987

Jane Austen 
by Tony Tanner.
Macmillan, 291 pp., £20, November 1986, 0 333 32317 3
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... and Scott Fitzgerald. This may be all to the good, though it leads him to such remarks as that Elizabeth Bennet’s ‘gay resilience in a society tending always towards dull conformity would make her a worthy heroine in a Stendhal novel, which cannot be said for many English heroines’. Perhaps it cannot at the moment, but no doubt it will be soon: to ...

Holy Terrors

Penelope Fitzgerald, 4 December 1986

Elizabeth’: The Author of ‘Elizabeth and her German Garden’ 
by Karen Usborne.
Bodley Head, 341 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 370 30887 5
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Alison Uttley: The Life of a Country Child 
by Denis Judd.
Joseph, 264 pp., £15.95, October 1986, 0 7181 2449 9
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Richmal Crompton: The Woman behind William 
by Mary Cadogan.
Allen and Unwin, 169 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 04 928054 6
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... thought of Just William and kept him going for 48 years, May Annette Beauchamp invented herself as Elizabeth. All three of them were, and had to be, resilient women, gallant survivors, Elizabeth in particular. As May Beauchamp, she had, after all, a doubtful start. Her father had risen from a swagman to a successful ...

Rotten as Touchwood

Loraine Fletcher, 21 September 1995

The Poems of Charlotte Smith 
edited by Stuart Curran.
Oxford, 335 pp., £35.50, March 1994, 9780195078732
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... what Smith was doing with her political houses, and created her own great estates – Pemberley, Mansfield Park and Donwell Abbey – as reassuring emblems of a more just England where some improvement might be needed, but no change of ownership. Of all Rayland Hall’s descendants, Mansfield Park, Chesney Wold, Howards ...

Persons Aggrieved

Stephen Sedley, 22 May 1997

... shackles struck from him as his ermine-clad deliverer pronounces judgment from on high – Lord Mansfield proclaimed: ‘The air of England is too pure for a slave to breathe. Let the black go free.’ The truth, as usual, is less dramatic but more instructive. English law, which recognised and enforced slavery until well after the Norman Conquest, no ...

Hats One Dreamed about

Tessa Hadley: Rereading Bowen, 20 February 2020

Collected Stories 
by Elizabeth Bowen.
Everyman, 904 pp., £18.99, October 2019, 978 1 84159 392 0
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... up three wide steps covered in yellow linoleum. There, not knowing how to choose, I gravitated to Elizabeth Bowen – along with others, including Compton Mackenzie and Hugh Walpole, of whose writing I can’t now recall even the faintest flavour. I’d never heard of any of them – I’d not heard of anybody much – but I was reassured by bound sets of ...

Too Good and Too Silly

Frank Kermode: Could Darcy Swim?, 30 April 2009

The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen. Vol. IX: Later Manuscripts 
edited by Janet Todd and Linda Bree.
Cambridge, 742 pp., £65, December 2008, 978 0 521 84348 5
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Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World 
by Claire Harman.
Canongate, 342 pp., £20, April 2009, 978 1 84767 294 0
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... One volume apiece goes to the major novels – Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, which originally appeared in a single posthumous volume, are here divided. Later Manuscripts, the last to appear and the largest volume of all, is the work of the general editor, Janet Todd, and of Linda ...

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