What lost classics should Virago publish?
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Having loved Ivy Litvinoff's two titles in Virago, His Master's Voice and She Knew She Was Right, I would very much like Virago to publish her early novels published under her maiden name of Ivy Low. They were called Growing Pains and The Questing Beast, written while she was working for an insurance company. They're apparently strongly autobiographical and in particular The Questing Beast was apparently considered quite shocking at the time.
What titles would others like to see?
>4 - that's one of hers I've been unable to find. What is it about?
Virago should consider doing a new edition of Harriet Martineau's Deerbrook. I have an old "black cover" copy, but Virago's website doesn't show Martineau as one of its authors, so I'm suspecting it's currently out-of-print. Considering the influence of Deerbrook on the "domestic novel" as well as Martineau's connection to Charlotte Brontë, this is one that really should be in print.
Another Brontë-connected work that should be considered is Miss Miles by Mary Taylor, who along with Ellen Nussey was one of Charlotte's two lifelong friends from boarding school, Margaret Wooler's school at Roe Head (not to be confused with Charlotte's earlier boarding school, Cowan Bridge, the model for Jane Eyre's Lowood). I've got a nice Oxford University Press hardcover edition that's out-of-print, but the current OUP paperback is awfully expensive. Of course, that may indicate a rather specialized market, so Virago might not find it financially feasible to do a new paperback edition.
Re: 'As far as Jane's Grandmother's', I wrote a review on Amazon which I reproduce here:
As a child, Jane's Grandmother's house represents the limit of her walks. Later as an adult it is her Grandmother's old-fashioned and 'correct' standards which shape Jane's life. She becomes unable to break away from the norms of her environment- not that Grandmother is harsh or violent but as Jane admits 'I don't think I ever have done anything against her wishes. They always seem to be what I should choose myself'.
Thus her first and only love affair becomes impossible to continue as she sees her young man through Grandmother's eyes and finds him deficient. Later, drawn to a religious life, she develops insurmountable doubts after Grandmother's kindly advice. But Grandmother cannot live forever...Will Jane find her true personality once she is alone?
In her memoirs, 'Without knowing Mr Walkley', Olivier comments that 'the story of Jane with her few ineffectual struggles is really a symbolic picture of life in my own father's house.'
I would really recommend it- it's a lot better than her rather odd 'Dwarf's Blood'.
I'm fascinated to learn that Mary Taylor was also a writer: will be putting Miss Miles con my wishlist!
7 - thank you!
I have read Dwarf's Blood, The Seraphim Room, The Triumphant Footman, and of course The Love Child which is far, far better than anything else I've read by her (I've also read sundry non-fiction and - wonderfully - got the chance to look at her actual diaries). I assume you're read The Love Child?
Hi Simon, Yes I adored The Love Child and that got me interested in her other work; I've still got to read The Seraphim Room which is sitting in my ever-growing 'to read' pile!
It's probably the best of the others I've read, or at least the one I most enjoyed. Surprising amounts about drains, though!
> 9 and 10 - The Love Child sounds intriguing - I take it you recommend?
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