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Enough is enough

Patricia Beer

26 September 1991
by Antonia White, edited by Susan Chitty.
Constable, 320 pp., £19.95, September 1991, 0 09 470650 6
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... In her introduction to Antonia White’s Diaries the editor, her elder daughter SusanChitty, quite naturally raises the question of whether or not they should have been published at all. But such doubts as she may have had, and conquered, have apparently nothing to do with the amount of ...
27 October 1988
Nothing to Forgive: A Daughter’s Life of Antonia White 
by Lyndall Hopkinson.
Chatto, 376 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 7011 2969 7
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... her three subsequent novels and book of short stories to be equally successful, but they weren’t. They are perhaps more so now, having recently been reissued and made into a television serial. SusanChitty, the elder daughter, was first off the mark in 1985 with ‘a very personal memoir, not a biography’.* ‘Antonia White was not a good mother to me,’ she begins, and goes on to say that ...

Wood Nymph

Robert Melville

18 March 1982
Gwen John 
by Susan Chitty.
Hodder, 223 pp., £9.95, September 1981, 0 340 24480 1
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... It’s not clear why SusanChitty called at a château in Alsace some time in the Sixties, but it’s evident from her account of the visit that she had not been there before, and that it had unexpected consequences. For one thing ...
2 October 1997
Playing the Game: A Biography of Sir Henry Newbolt 
by Susan Chitty.
Quartet, 288 pp., £25, July 1997, 0 7043 7107 3
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... but a first-class fighting man’) and in his early novel The Light that Failed produced a graphic account of the action Newbolt refers to, when a square was broken and a regiment all but destroyed. (SusanChitty refers to Newbolt’s meeting at Clifton with ‘a survivor of Omdurman’, but that was in the final stage of the war, and an almost bloodless victory from the British Army’s point of view ...

Je suis bizarre

Sarah LeFanu: Gwen John

6 September 2001
Gwen John: A Life 
by Sue Roe.
Chatto, 364 pp., £25, June 2001, 0 7011 6695 9
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... She had married late, and remained childless. John, too, survived. She represented herself as a waif, but she was strong and canny. In her biography of 1981 (the only other full-length biography), SusanChitty emphasises John’s friendships with women. Sue Roe makes less of the strong feelings John had for, and herself inspired in other women. There was an innkeeper’s wife, according to Chitty ...

Perfect Light

Jenny Diski

9 July 1992
Diana: Her True Story 
by Andrew Morton.
Michael O’Mara, 165 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 1 85479 191 5
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Shared Lives 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Bloomsbury, 285 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 7475 1164 0
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Antonia White: Diaries 1958-1979 
edited by Susan Chitty.
Constable, 352 pp., £19.95, May 1992, 0 09 470660 3
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... period in her life when no new books were written, though not from want of trying, and those written years before were reissued as ‘classic women’s writing’ by Virago. The diaries are edited by SusanChitty, White’s eldest daughter, in the teeth of her half-sister Lyndall’s opposition. Antonia White herself seemed not entirely sure if she wanted them published or not. ‘All I can say is that ...

Biscuits. Oh good!

Anna Vaux: Antonia White

27 May 1999
Antonia White 
by Jane Dunn.
Cape, 484 pp., £20, November 1998, 9780224036191
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... Antonia White died in 1980 leaving behind four novels, over thirty translations (mainly Colette), two books about cats, some stories and a piece of autobiography. She also left two daughters (SusanChitty and Lyndall Hopkinson) and more than a million words of diaries – work that some consider her greatest achievement, and the editing of which led to a public row (and legal action) between the girls ...


E.S. Turner

23 February 1995
Edward Lear: A Biography 
by Peter Levi.
Macmillan, 362 pp., £20, January 1995, 0 333 58804 5
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... about Nelson was on the way, but the Lear industry is putting up stiff competition. Levi in his bibliography does not bother to mention studies by Peter Quennell, John Lehmann, Joanna Richardson and SusanChitty, among others. He does, however, pay his warm respects to Vivien Noakes’s definitive Edward Lear: The Life of a Wanderer (1968, reissued 1985). Noakes has reviewed Levi’s book – ‘a ...

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