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5 June 1980
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture 
by Carl Schorske.
Weidenfeld, 378 pp., £15, May 1980, 0 297 77772 6
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A Nervous Splendour: Vienna 1888/1889 
by Frederic Morton.
Weidenfeld, 340 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 297 77769 6
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... almost half of the book!) had originally appeared in the American Historical Review – as far apart as 1961, 1967 and 1973: no wonder there is no continuous argument. But if Schorske has no thesis, FredericMorton (who lists Schorske’s Freud essay of 1973 in his own bibliography) does not even have a theme – outside the myth of Vienna, that is, which remains unmolested by reality: ‘Anti-semitism ...
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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... village, whose boorish husband shot her, hacked her in pieces, and put her remains in his silo on the day that she delivered her only manuscript to a local newspaper editor and small press publisher, Frederic Cruzzi. Published in a posthumous edition of only 250 copies (a number which dwindles significantly in the course of the novel), the rather gruesomely named ‘Swann’s Songs’ is discovered years ...

Lemon and Pink

David Trotter: The Sorrows of Young Ford

1 June 2000
Return to Yesterday 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Bill Hutchings.
Carcanet, 330 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 397 1
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War Prose 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Max Saunders.
Carcanet, 276 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 396 3
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... armament (Samuel Butler has a ‘torpedo beard of silver grey’). These are hairstyles with attitude. Butler’s torpedo beard is matched by his viciousness, especially towards ‘young persons’. Frederic Harrison, the pope of Positivism, sports a ‘great, square, white beard’ (every comma counts, in that description); he, too, likes nothing better, while taking tea with Dr Richard Garnett ...
20 August 1992
The Sexual Education of Edith Wharton 
by Gloria Erlich.
California, 210 pp., £13.95, May 1992, 0 520 07583 8
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...  ’ Dating ‘the birth of her identity’ from her first conscious memory of a walk, hand in hand, with ‘her tall handsome father’, Wharton’s autobiography consistently associates George Frederic Jones with whatever spontaneous feeling and poetry her childhood contained. Retreating to her father’s library, the young girl discovered the books that were to sustain her, as she dragged out ...

Self-Made Man

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Edith Wharton’s Domestic Arrangements

5 April 2007
Edith Wharton 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 853 pp., £25, February 2007, 978 0 7011 6665 6
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... Edith Wharton’s ‘background’ – the word is her own – has always seemed improbable for a future novelist. Persistent rumours that she was not the daughter of George Frederic Jones but the illegitimate offspring of a Scottish peer or an English tutor clearly attest to a sense that there was something otherwise inexplicable about this ambitious daughter of Old New York ...

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