British Women Writers 1914-1945: Professional Work and Friendship

1st Edition

Catherine Clay

Routledge
Published January 16, 2006
Reference - 194 Pages
ISBN 9780754650935 - CAT# Y234021

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Summary

Catherine Clay's persuasively argued and rigorously documented study examines women's friendships during the period between the two world wars. Building on extensive new archival research, the book's organizing principle is a series of literary-historical case-studies that explore the practices, meanings and effects of friendship within a network of British women writers, who were all loosely connected to the feminist weekly periodical Time and Tide. Clay considers the letters and diaries, as well as fiction, poetry, autobiographies and journalistic writings, of authors such as Vera Brittain, Winifred Holtby, Storm Jameson, Naomi Mitchison, and Stella Benson, to examine women's friendships in relation to two key contexts: the rise of the professional woman writer under the shadow of literary modernism and historic shifts in the cultural recognition of lesbianism crystallized by The Well of Loneliness trial in 1928. While Clay's study presents substantial evidence to support the crucial role close and enduring friendships played in women's professional achievements, it also boldly addresses the limitations and denials of these relationships. Producing 'biographies of friendship' untold in existing author studies, her book also challenges dominant accounts of women's friendships and advances new ways for thinking about women's friendship in contemporary debates.

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