Rosamond Lehmann and Her Critics: The Vagaries of Literary Reception

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9780754637134: Rosamond Lehmann and Her Critics: The Vagaries of Literary Reception

This study of contemporary and later critical responses to the work of the novelist Rosamond Lehmann (1901-1990) offers an original approach to twentieth-century literary history by foregrounding the cultural and commercial fields in which Lehmann's writing was situated. Wendy Pollard examines the effect recent developments in literary theory and movements from modernism to feminism have had on Lehmann's literary reception. She also considers the interpolation of a damning third category between elite and popular culture, namely middlebrow; a widening gender divide in readership; controversies within book reviewing; changes in the publishing world; and the introduction of popularist means of book marketing. While considering the general privileging of male authors from the 1920s to the 1950s, Lehmann's most prolific period, Pollard argues that her novels have been unfairly subjected to specific forms of neglect, and their exclusion from many academic comparative studies is due to a diversity of form and content that can also be considered their strength.

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