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Don’t Ask Henry

Alan Hollinghurst: Sissiness

9 October 2008
Belchamber 
by Howard Sturgis.
NYRB, 345 pp., £8.99, May 2008, 978 1 59017 266 7
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... an accessory to the life of a more important writer. It is his friend Henry James who keeps Sturgis’s novel distantly in view, at the same time as casting a long shadow over it. James read it in proof, and wrote a characteristic sequence of letters to Sturgis about it, beginning with neat praise and mild ...

Fish out of water

Robert Dawidoff

4 February 1988
The Works of George Santayana. Vol. I: Persons and Places 
edited by William Holzberger and Herman Saatkamp.
MIT, 761 pp., £24.95, March 1987, 0 262 19238 1
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George Santayana: A Biography 
by John McCormick.
Knopf, 612 pp., $30, August 1988, 0 394 51037 2
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... Santayana’s mother was the widow of a Boston scion of the Anglo-New England merchant-prince Sturgis connection who left the five-year-old George with his father in Spain to return to Boston to raise his three Sturgis siblings. At nine, George joined her in America, where he was educated in the best Boston manner and ...

Ranklings

Philip Horne

30 August 1990
Henry James and Edith Wharton: Letters 1900-1915 
edited by Lyall Powers.
Weidenfeld, 412 pp., £25, May 1990, 9780297810605
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... figure at his ease amid the friendly, mostly American group made up by herself, Walter Berry, Howard Sturgis, Morton Fullerton, John Hugh Smith, Percy Lubbock and a few other initiates. She emphasises the man’s ‘quality of fun’, and her James is ‘the laughing, chaffing, jubilant yet malicious James’, not ‘the grave personage known to less ...

Poor Dear, How She Figures!

Alan Hollinghurst: Forster and His Mother

3 January 2013
The Journals and Diaries of E.M. Forster Volumes I-III 
edited by Philip Gardner.
Pickering and Chatto, 813 pp., £275, February 2011, 978 1 84893 114 5
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... I was 30 did I know exactly how male and female joined’ – that is to say, when he was writing Howards End, with its extramarital pregnancy that ‘deeply shocked’ Forster’s mother when she read the book.* Writing Maurice three years later, with its unpublishable transgressions, he still kept things pretty chaste: to an implausibly high-minded ...
14 September 1989
A Short Guide to the World Novel: From Myth to Modernism 
by Gilbert Phelps.
Routledge, 397 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 415 00765 8
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The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction 
by John Sutherland.
Longman, 696 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 582 49040 5
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The Haunted Study: A Social History of the English Novel 1875-1914 
by Peter Keating.
Secker, 533 pp., £30, September 1989, 0 436 23248 0
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... the unfinished Lesbia Brandon, is possibly an even more incomprehensible exclusion; and poor old Howard Overing Sturgis, with Tim (1891) and All that was possible (1895), doesn’t get in either. Perhaps they write too ‘sensitively’, or maybe their omission is merely an oversight. More generally, this is a very ...

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