Rose Macaulay: A Writer's Life

Jane Emery, Author John Murray Publishers $34.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-7195-4768-3
The daughter of a literature professor, English author Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) managed to obtain a university education, extricate herself from the attentions of a dependent mother and carve out a successful 50-year career as a writer living in the heart of London literary society. This well-researched and richly detailed academic biography by Emery ( The Razor Edge of Balance: A Study of Virginia Woolf ) recounts Macaulay's interesting life and work. Witty, intelligent and cosmopolitan, she became known for her novels of satirical social criticism ( Potterism ; Dangerous Ages ). Apparently without undue remorse, she also conducted a 24-year secret love affair with Gerald O'Donovan, a married man, while remaining on close terms with his family. A friend of Rupert Brooke and Virginia Woolf, Macaulay lived an active, relatively happy and very creative life, producing 23 novels as well as poetry, biography and essays. This is a welcome addition to literary history. Illustrated. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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