Cross-Currents: Elizabeth von Arnim, Max Beerbohm and George Bernard Shaw
Women: A Cultural Review
Informa UK Limited
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Maddison, I. (2017). Cross-Currents: Elizabeth von Arnim, Max Beerbohm and George Bernard Shaw. Women: A Cultural Review, 28 (1-2), 130-143. https://doi.org/10.1080/09574042.2017.1320071
When Elizabeth von Arnim's novel 'Introduction to Sally' appeared in 1926, the critical response was divided. Dame Ethel Smyth may have told von Arnim the book was her 'masterpiece' but some were less convinced; the reviewer in 'Punch' for instance, considered it a 'coarse-grained fantasy'. By situating 'Introduction to Sally' in a wider literary context that includes Max Beerbohm's 'Zuleika Dobson' (1911) and George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' (1914), this article explores the personal connections between these three authors and the thematic cross-currents in these texts. Is von Arnim's novel really as 'coarse' & 'vulgar' as some earlier critics suggest? Or is it a novel that successfully mixes the plausible with the artificial, the comic and the socially catastrophic, in ways that, more than a decade later, resonate with the work of her friends to highlight several continuing preoccupations?
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09574042.2017.1320071
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/284627