Antonia White: A Life Book

Antonia White is best known for the autobiographical quartet of novels that began with her pre-World War I adolescence in a Catholic convent (Frost in May) and ended with institutionalisation for manic depression in the 1920s. (Beyond the Glass). More infamously, White's three unsuccessful marriages, her affairs, and her tortuous relationship with her two daughters and their subsequent feud over the editing of White's diaries after her death, have been extensively chronicled. Biographer Jane Dunn, who has also covered other literary lives--Mary Shelley in Moon in Eclipse and sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf in A Very Close Conspiracy--plunges with relish into White's complex world. She portrays White as a highly talented writer whose Catholicism and father-fixation contributed much to her low self-worth, problematic relationships and recurring bouts of madness. Despite this, White, unusually for a woman in the 1930s, held down a lucrative job as an advertising copywriter, became a highly respected translator (her translations of the novels of Colette are among the best), and moved within an intensely artistic circle of friends which included Djuna Barnes, David Gascoyne and Dylan Thomas.White's allegedly low opinion of women was compounded just before her death, with the newly launched Virago publishing house choosing Frost in May (1978) as its first rediscovery. The continuing republication of White's novels and her astonishingly frank diary have captivated new generations of readers. Jane Dunn's skilful, intelligent biography ensures that this interest will not abate. --Catherine TaylorRead More

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  • 1860497950
  • 9781860497957
  • Jane Dunn
  • 2 March 2000
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • Paperback (Book)
  • 495
  • New edition

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