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Craig Raine, 13 June 1991

Constance GarnettA Heroic Life 
by Richard Garnett.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 402 pp., £20, March 1991, 1 85619 033 1
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... a criminalised sub-species of translation? Not if you compare, as translations, Constance Garnett’s translation of Chekhov’s tale ‘Sleepy’ with Katherine Mansfield’s alleged plagiarism, ‘The Child-Who-Was-Tired’. The Mansfield is boldly, imprudently divergent from the original. The ...


Frank Kermode, 21 July 1994

The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner 
edited by Claire Harman.
Chatto, 384 pp., £25, June 1994, 0 7011 3659 6
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Sylvia and David: The Townsend Warner/Garnett Letters 
Sinclair-Stevenson, 246 pp., £20, June 1994, 1 85619 341 1Show More
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... Downing College.) Warner had a hand in Powys’s rise to fame, having recommended him to David Garnett, another fantasist, whose Lady into Fox had been a great success in 1922. There seems to have been a market in those years for a peculiarly English brand of fantasy, but any imputation of parochialism must fail: ...

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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... comma counts, in that description); he, too, likes nothing better, while taking tea with Dr Richard Garnett, Principal Librarian at the British Museum, than brutally to crush the aspirations of any young person available for the purpose. Like Virginia Woolf, Ford asks where these abrupt and inexplicable furies came from. As Ford grew older, the ...

Having Fun

David Coward: Alexandre Dumas, 17 April 2003

Viva Garibaldi! Une Odyssée en 1860 
by Alexandre Dumas.
Fayard, 610 pp., €23, February 2002, 2 213 61230 7
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... edited by Claude Schopp, is a fuller version of On Board the ‘Emma’, a text translated by Richard Garnett in 1929. It is vintage Dumas, overflowing with the glorious immodesty of a man who spent his energies with the same relish as he parted with money. Like his fiction, it is populated by roundheads who plot and oppress, and cavaliers who serve ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour, 23 April 2015

... in boosting the BNP.’ It also gave Cameron the opportunity in opposition to belittle the ‘Alf Garnett’ race politics of the Labour front bench and to pledge to ‘reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour government’. Judging from Labour’s painstaking recapitulation of Tory ideas, one would think that its main problem is ...

Crabby, Prickly, Bitter, Harsh

Michael Wood: Tolstoy’s Malice, 22 May 2008

War and Peace 
by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Vintage, 1273 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 09 951223 3
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... Isaac Babel said, ‘it would write like Tolstoy.’ The remark is quoted at the head of Richard Pevear’s introduction to this handsome new translation of War and Peace. I should like to think Babel meant that if the world was given to intricate thematic contrasts and parallels among its materials, to careful cross-cutting between city and ...

Living Doll and Lilac Fairy

Penelope Fitzgerald, 31 August 1989

Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington 1893-1932 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 342 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 7195 4688 5
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Lydia and Maynard: Letters between Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Polly Hill and Richard Keynes.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £17.95, September 1989, 0 233 98283 3
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Mazo de la Roche: The Hidden Life 
by Joan Givner.
Oxford, 273 pp., £18, July 1989, 0 19 540705 9
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Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby: A Working Partnership 
by Jean Kennard.
University Press of New England, 224 pp., £24, July 1989, 0 87451 474 6
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Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists 
by Susan Leonardi.
Rutgers, 254 pp., $33, May 1989, 0 8135 1366 9
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The Selected Letters of Somerville and Ross 
edited by Gifford Lewis.
Faber, 308 pp., £14.99, July 1989, 0 571 15348 8
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... beginning of the century, and Dora Carrington might have had the good luck to stay ordinary. David Garnett, introducing his selection of letters, felt that the reader might ask: ‘Who was this woman Carrington?’ She derived her importance from the fact that she lived with Lytton Strachey. Hostesses, he went on, like the Asquiths and Lady Colefax, who ...

Staggering on

Stephen Howe, 23 May 1996

The ‘New Statesman’: Portrait of a Political Weekly, 1913-31 
by Adrian Smith.
Cass, 340 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 7146 4645 8
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... In 1950 a venerable, once highly successful, long-ailing magazine quietly expired. Richard Usborne, the assistant editor in its dying days, later recalled an aficionado’s touching reaction. ‘When the Strand finally folded in 1950, my old sixth-form master wrote to me regretfully: “I loved the dear old Strand ...

Root Books

Julie Davidson, 7 November 1985

Henry Root’s A-Z of Women 
by William Donaldson.
Weidenfeld, 180 pp., £7.95, July 1985, 0 297 78593 1
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... to wobble somewhat as to the chops.)’ To this and other tips and observations the long-suffering Richard Ryder replied, poker-penned: ‘The contents of your correspondence have been carefully noted,’ and – doubts obviously stirring – returned Henry’s usual enclosure of £1 ‘with best wishes as always’. The Further Letters of Henry Root, in other ...

Arabia Revisita

Reyner Banham, 4 December 1980

Travels in Arabia Deserts 
by Charles Doughty.
Dover, 674 pp., £11.35, June 1980, 0 486 23825 3
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... read it, because they are often uncertain about its format, having probably read only Edward Garnett’s dim-witted abridgement. Dover’s proper two-volume edition in paperback is a faithful (since facsimile) reproduction of the definitive 1936 version of Doughty, complete with Lawrence’s Introduction and Doughty’s three prefaces, the appendices and ...

I fret and fret

Adam Phillips: Edward Thomas, 5 November 2015

Edward Thomas: From Adelstrop to Arras 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4081 8713 5
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... in quick succession, gets to know many of the significant literary figures of the day (Edward Garnett, Rupert Brooke, Joseph Conrad, Lascelles Abercrombie, Hilaire Belloc et al) and becomes an overworked and often desperate, self-hating professional writer of journalism and criticism. ‘I live for an income of £250 & work all day & often from 9 a.m. to ...

Made in Heaven

Frank Kermode, 10 November 1994

Frieda Lawrence 
by Rosie Jackson.
Pandora, 240 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 9780044409151
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The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Brenda Maddox.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 631 pp., £20, August 1994, 1 85619 243 1
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by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £60, August 1994, 0 521 38455 9
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Twilight in Italy and Other Essays 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Paul Eggert.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £55, August 1994, 0 521 26888 5
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... by his extraordinary and apparently bohemian friendships and vagrancies. This adds a touch to Richard Hoggart’s famous puritan portrait. On the other hand, or possibly on the same hand, he is credited with some slightly sinister obsessions, reflected in his penchant for feminine names beginning with C: ‘the demanding female sexual organs’ are given ...

The Mole on Joyce’s Breast

Sean O’Faolain, 20 November 1980

Joyce’s Politics 
by Dominic Manganiello.
Routledge, 260 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 7100 0537 7
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... British publisher cared to risk it. In the words of one of the best editors of the time, Edward Garnett, it contained ugly words, ugly things, would be considered a little sordid; he did have words of praise for it but thought the whole thing needed to be rewritten.) That was 1916. I am further taken aback to find that I did not get around to it for nine ...

Writer’s Writer and Writer’s Writer’s Writer

Julian Barnes: ‘Madame Bovary’, 18 November 2010

Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways 
by Gustave Flaubert and Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 342 pp., £20, November 2010, 978 1 84614 104 1
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... had asked Lévy to fix Juliet up with an English publisher, and believed he had written to Richard Bentley & Sons about the matter, no such letter from Paris survives in the Bentley archives (perhaps because Lévy objected to the idea and declined to act on it). The manuscript was lost, and so – more or less – was Juliet Herbert, until her ...


Thomas Powers: Stephen Crane, 17 July 2014

Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire 
by Paul Sorrentino.
Harvard, 476 pp., £25, June 2014, 978 0 674 04953 6
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... and leading news correspondents Crane met in Cuba such as Charles Michelson, Ernest McCready and Richard Harding Davis. These are rich materials but at the same time they are incomplete and sparse. Crane was not a prolific letter-writer and he left no diaries or memoir. Further confusing matters was Crane’s first biographer, Thomas Beer, whose Stephen ...

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