Tag Archives: edwardian fiction

Book Release: There Are Some Secrets

Many thanks to Sara Sass for providing the following guest post:

At the center of a world spinning with the Terry acting family, Barrymore acting family, Red Cross founding, Punch illustration and casual cricket is the playwright and Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie. But who did Barrie rely on for advice as he became a baronet and his career spanned continents? Who was the only person Barrie trusted to write a complete obituary for his beloved ward Michael Llewelyn Davies in 1921? His confidant was E. V. Lucas.

Lucas’ life, beginning in a large British Quaker family in 1868 and ending in a London club in 1938, is covered by my book There Are Some Secrets. Lucas had one daughter, Audrey Lucas, who is still remembered by historians as the lover of Evelyn Waugh. Lucas was a publisher at Methuen, and Evelyn’s father was a publisher at Chapman & Hill. Lucas’ daughter Audrey and “E. V. L.” as he was referred to by his contemporaries and family alike were members of a glittering Edwardian social circle. This group wrote theatre programs featuring Ellen Terry for the newly formed Red Cross effort in World War I. This group also put a mystery writer, A. E. W. Mason, up for election to Parliament as a lark and pulled it off successfully. They spent evenings in and out of London’s Adelphi Terrace, haunted by prostitutes of both genders and all ages.

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Riddle of the Sands Online

RiddleOfTheSands

The Riddle of the Sands Adventure Club seeks to unpack all the references and information contained within Erskine Childer’s popular 1903 novel The Riddle of the Sands. The project also includes a crowdfunding campaign with a view to taking the book out into the field, replaying it day by day and remixing and replaying it for a modern audience. Please see their website for more on this intriguing venture!

Review: Elizabeth von Arnim: Beyond the German Garden

9781409411673.PPC_PPC

Elizabeth von Arnim: Beyond the German Garden by Isobel Maddison (Ashgate 2013)
ISBN: 9781409411673

Type ‘Victorian Literature’ into Google, noted Simon J. James in his keynote lecture for ‘Beyond the Garden Party’, and you’ll find almost eight-million search results for sites hosting scholarly journals and university-affiliated projects. Try the same thing with ‘Edwardian Literature’ and you’ll get just over a million hits, the first of which is a Facebook page. It has six ‘Likes’.

The perception of Edwardian literature – particularly Edwardian fiction – as a literary backwater seems always to have been with us. As early as 1923 Virginia Woolf was pinpointing the Edwardian era as ‘the fatal age’ in literature, naming and shaming ‘Mr Wells, Mr Galsworthy, and Mr Arnold’ as ‘the culprits’ of this literary demise. Such dismissals have proved surprisingly difficult to shake off, no more so than in the case of female Edwardian novelists (who, tellingly, Woolf’s ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown’ didn’t even bother to cite). Continue reading