The politics and writings of Rebecca West have always ellicited strong reactions. This collection of her letters includes correspondence with such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, and her famous lover H.G. Wells, and offers pronouncements on misogyny, fascism and communism.
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.
Customer Reviews - Selected Letters of Rebecca West
"A unique, exhilarating and disturbing torrent of letters by a unique, exhilarating and disturbing woman whose life and literary work spanned almost a century, and who was both the agent and the victim of social change. Forthright and controversial, her letters range over politics, literature, gossip, sex, friendship, and her own extraordinary experience of life." Victoria Glendinning "Rebecca West's letters are irresistible - a medley of insight and canny observation mixed with a touch of paranoia. This ably annotated volume portrays a brilliant, strong, and romantic woman in stormy literary, political, and romantic times." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
About Rebecca West
Bonnie Kime Scott is professor and director of graduate studies in English at the University of Delaware.
Selected Letters of Rebecca West by Rebecca West
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Yale University Press
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