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Big Books

Penelope Fitzgerald, 15 September 1988

William Morris: An Approach to the Poetry 
by J.M.S. Tompkins.
Cecil Woolf, 368 pp., £20, May 1988, 0 900821 84 1
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... Eyrbyggia Saga. This was first pointed out by a sympathetic but strong-minded scholar, Dr J.M.S. Tompkins. For twenty years, both before and after publishing her Art of Rudyard Kipling, Joyce Tompkins worked on her study of Morris’s poetry. In December 1986 she died, at the age of 89. Now her book is out at last, not ...

Insupportable

John Bayley, 19 February 1987

A Choice of Kipling’s Prose 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 448 pp., £12.50, January 1987, 0 571 13735 0
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Kipling’s Kingdom: His Best Indian Stories 
by Charles Allen.
Joseph, 288 pp., £14.95, January 1987, 0 7181 2570 3
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... of the tales involved appear in Raine’s judicious selection among his own favourites. And yet James’s stricture is not really perceptive or justified. For although as direct narrators his creatures and objects may seem embarrassingly pat and simplistic, Kipling has an extraordinary power of making whole societies, cultures and artefacts articulate, so ...

Kipling’s Lightning-Flash

Barbara Everett, 10 January 1991

... just one. The most universally and justly admired single study of Kipling is the late J.M.S. Tompkins’s highly intelligent, scrupulous and loving book about the writer. At one point, describing the problems of this tale, she takes a breath and heroically summarises what she calls ‘the facts about Vickery’, ending: ‘He sees his Captain, is sent ...

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