Selected letters of Rebecca West

by West, Rebecca, 1892-1983.

Format: Print Book 2000
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR6045.E8 Z48 2000
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR6045.E8 Z48 2000
From the time that George Bernard Shaw remarked that "Rebecca West could handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely," West's writings and her politics have elicited strong reactions. This collection of her letters--the first ever published--has been culled from the estimated ten thousand she wrote during her long life. The more than two hundred selected letters follow this spirited author, critic, and journalist from her first feminist campaign for women's suffrage when she was a teenager through her reassessments of the twentieth century written in 1982, in her ninetieth year.

The letters, which are presented in full, include correspondence with West's famous lover H. G. Wells and with Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Emma Goldman, Noel Coward, and many others; offer pronouncements on such contemporary authors as Norman Mailer, Nadine Gordimer, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; and provide new insights into her battles against misogyny, fascism, and communism. West deliberately fashions her own biography through this intensely personal correspondence, challenging rival accounts of her groundbreaking professional career, her frustrating love life, and her tormented family relations. Engrossing to read, the collection sheds new light on this important figure and her social and literary milieu.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The eclectic, energetic correspondence of Dame West (1892-1983) begins here with the 14-year-old West, born Cicily Fairfield, writing precociously on women's suffrage to the editor of the Scotsman. It finishes, after one of the longest, most active careers in English letters, in 1982, with West's descriptive powers still vital. West's dual career as novelist and journalist pays a dividend in her vivid depictions of her travels, notably to the U.S. and pre-WWII Yugoslavia. The drama of the historic events of which she writes--the Nuremberg trials, the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa ("we were... simultaneously afraid of an outbreak of the Africans in the townships and of arrest by the Government"), the obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover ("the reasons for the jury's decision were manifest in the Judge's vile temper")--is matched by the richness of her address book. Her correspondents include Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Harold Ross, Lionel Trilling and Emma Goldman. Unfortunately for the paper trail of her notorious romance with H.G. Wells, Wells and West's son, Anthony, destroyed some personal letters, particularly from the earliest period of their relationship. Combing assorted archives, editor Scott, a professor of English at the University of Delaware, has tracked down later ones, from slightly embarrassing pet name exchanges ("Dearest Jaguar"/"Your loving Panther") to bitter disputes over child custody and finances. West's other relationships could be equally complicated, and she had hoped to keep her private and literary lives separate--but Scott diligently reintegrates them here, well representing the same brilliant, awkward chaos with which she lived. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Henry McBride series in modernism and modernity.
Subjects West, Rebecca, -- 1892-1983 -- Correspondence.
Novelists, English -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Journalists -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.
Modernism (Literature) -- Great Britain.
Publisher New Haven :Yale University Press,2000
Other Titles Correspondence.
Contributors Scott, Bonnie Kime, 1944-
Language English
Description xlvi, 497 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [481]-483) and index.
ISBN 0300079044 (alk. paper)
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