A Critical Biography of English Novelist Viola Meynell, 1885-1956 (Studies in British Literature v. 52)
By: Raymond N. MacKenzie (author), Paul Schlueter (preface_author)Hardback
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Viola Meynell was in her time widely regarded as one of the generation's greatest talents. She wrote a dozen novels, several books of stories, two memoirs and two volumes of poetry, along with a great deal of literary journalism. This study takes a chronological approach and describes and analyzes her family life and intellectual background, and discusses the reception of her work, citing letters and sales figures. It is based on archival research as well as extensive interviews with surviving family members and descendents of people who knew her. Here Raymond MacKenzie presents a portrait of a popular writer who was a bridge between the Victorian giants such as Tennyson and Browning, and the modern iconoclasts that were T.S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He begins with a thorough examination of the social and political movements of the last quarter of the 19th century that were dominated by Disraeli and the Young England Movement. He also weaves into this survey the lives of Meynell's parents. Both were writers, Alice becoming the better known poet and essayist while Wilfrid encouraged Catholic emancipation in the two journals he edited.
Each chapter summarizes and criticizes Meynell's work, examining its literary influences and forebears as well as the personal struggles with love and faith.
Preface by Paul Schlueter i Acknowledgements vii 1 An Ideal Mother 1 2 A Bayswater Childhood 23 3 Youth and Martha Vine 49 4 Cross-in-Hand Farm and Martin Secker 77 5 Lot Barrow and Modern Lovers 101 6 Maitland Radford and Columbine 123 7 Lawrence 143 8 Narcissus and Three Soldiers 171 9 Farther than France: 1918-1921 201 10 Transitions: 1922-1928 233 11 Love's Impossibility: 1929-1940 265 12 A Short Season: 1941-1951 297 13 Last Years: 1952-1956 329 14 Conclusion 353 Notes 359 Bibliography 377 Index 389
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- ID: 9780773472204
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