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Olivia Manning: A Woman at War


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Table of Contents

Introduction: 'Never a Day Without a Line' 'Laburnum Grove' 'The Most Terrifying City in the World' 'Bucharest' 'Escaping the Barbarians' 'The Dark Side of the World' 'Going Home' 'Writing in Austerity' 'The "Booksey Boys" and the Woman Writer' 'Watching History' 'A Strange Decade' 'A Deteriorating World' 'The Battle Won' 'The Stray Survivor'

About the Author

Deirdre David is Professor Emerita of English at Temple University. Throughout her long career she has taught courses in Victorian literature, the history of the British novel, and women's writing. She has published books dealing with social problems in the Victorian novel (Fictions of Resolution in Three Victorian Novels 1981), the conflicted position of the woman intellectual in Victorian culture (Intellectual Women and Victorian Patriarchy 1987), and the importance of British women in imperialism (Rule Britannia: Women, Empire, and Victorian Writing 1995). She also edited The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel (2001), and co-edited (with Eileen Gillooly) Contemporary Dickens(2009). She published her first biography in 2007 (Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life) and continues to teach as a member of the Society of Senior Scholars at Columbia University.


David's story of Manning's life is well told from start to finish, rich with contextual details and memorable incidents. * Rohan Maitzen, Open Letters Monthly *
David is a generous and sympathetic biographer * Artemis Cooper, The Guardian *
Deirdre David has written a sympathetic, cogent and illuminating account of a writer's progress * Patricia Craig, The Independent *
[a] clear-eyed, unsentimental and riveting biography. * Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald *
Deirdre David makes a strong and deeply admiring case for Manning as an artist who broke the mould of the women's novel by writing about war from a new perspective ... [a] timely reassessment of Manning's status. * Claire Harman, Evening Standard *
confident, well researched and engaging. * Sandeep Parmar, Times Higher Education *
thorough and sympathetic * Lindsay Duguid, Times Literary Supplement *
David is an accomplished practitioner of the particular type of biographical recording she develops for her appreciation of Manning's life and works. Like her subject, she is good at the difficult arts of historical and narrative reconstruction. This book, drawing together Manning's many struggles, is a compelling account of a remarkable woman and her 20th-century stories. * Rachel Bowlby, New Statesman *
a study that is subtle, deeply researched and utterly absorbing. * Roy Foster, Irish Times *
Deirdre David's study of this frequently tormented novelist is a book that needed to be written. * Paul Bailey, Literary Review *
[A] thorough literary biography - complete with concise critical appraisals of Manning's 13 novels and two volumes of short stories ... [David] is also clear-eyed about how Manning's combative attitude shaped, and was shaped by, her reputation for trouble among her literary contemporaries. * Caroline Moorehead, Wall Street Journal *
[A] superb new biography. * George Core, Sewanee Review *
Olivia Manning: A Woman at War is an impeccably researched and measured book, giving its subject her due, but doing so with a sense of proportion and perspective that makes it the very model of what a biography should be. * Carl Rollyson, The New Criterion *
Deirdre David, who has written a rewarding book about Manning's life, treats her as a giant. Having read the two trilogies, and then Deirdre David's book as a follow-up, I feel bound to say that Ms. David is right - feel bound, that is, because Manning is still not getting the attention she deserves. * Clive James, author of Latest Readings *
Recommended. * D. Stuber, CHOICE *

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