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Another Mother

Frank Kermode, 13 May 1993

Morgan: A Biography of E.M. Forster 
by Nicola Beauman.
Hodder, 404 pp., £20, May 1993, 0 340 52530 4
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... of the comment on Fielding and Hamidullah in A Passage to India: they regretted the death of Mrs Moore, ‘but they were middle-aged men, who had invested their emotions elsewhere, and outbursts of grief could not be expected from them over a slight acquaintance.’ Furbank, who of course knew the Merz story, deals with it in half a page, but Mrs Beauman, or ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës, 16 November 2017

... other letters at the time and her dramatisation of a similar event in Villette, where Lucy Snowe explains her actions by saying ‘I had a pressure of affliction on my mind.’ Harman goes on to speculate about the nature of her confession, presuming that (and she doesn’t tell us so much as lead us up to the conclusion) it concerned ‘the ...

I’m an intelligence

Joanna Biggs: Sylvia Plath at 86, 20 December 2018

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. I: 1940-56 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1388 pp., £35, September 2017, 978 0 571 32899 4
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The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. II: 1956-63 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1025 pp., £35, September 2018, 978 0 571 33920 4
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... beaches? Who would? Yet she pulls it off, and we are slack-jawed and mildly horrified. Marianne Moore would say that she is ‘too unrelenting’ in The Colossus, her first book of poems; Robert Lowell would put the same thought another way by saying that in Ariel she was playing ‘Russian Roulette with six cartridges in the cylinder’. I also remember ...

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