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Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, 1905-1914

Strachey, James; Brooke, Rupert; Hale, Keith; Yale Univ Pr; Yale University Press

21 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300070047 / ISBN 13: 9780300070040
Published by Yale Univ Press, New Haven CT, 1998
Condition: Brand New / MINT Hardcover
From Penobscot Books (Searsport, ME, U.S.A.)

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BRAND NEW BOOK and DJ, BOTH in PERFECT MINT/ PRISTINE CONDITION. First Edition. //// No finer copy of this book exists. Perfection, period. Bookseller Inventory # 006195

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of ...

Publisher: Yale Univ Press, New Haven CT

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Brand New / MINT

Dust Jacket Condition: Brand New / MINT

About this title

Synopsis:

Letters between the two men reveal their thoughts on politics, literature, and homosexuality, as well as their observations of such collegues and friends as John Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf, and Betrand Russell.

Review:

Rupert Brooke is one of the 20th century's best examples of image management. After he died of blood poisoning en route to Gallipoli in 1915, the poet's valor and godlike good looks were soon immortalized. He never had the chance to prove the former save in a handful of verses that are far from his finest, but photographic proof of the latter was unassailable. When Brooke's letters were originally published in 1968, his executor and editor, Geoffrey Keynes, kept well clear of his extensive correspondence with James Strachey (brother of Lytton and now best remembered for his translations of Freud). Keynes went so far as to claim that they would appear in print "over my dead body." Nothing less than homosexual panic was at the heart of such hysteria: Brooke was to be forever deified, not damned as a sodomite.

Now Keith Hale has whittled down Brooke and Strachey's letters and postcards between 1905 and 1914 into a volume in which the inconsequential ("Thursday lunch will be admirably suitable") bumps up against history, emotion, and desire. The last few years of their friendship were decidedly rocky, and Strachey's final words on his complex friend are apposite: "Rupert wasn't nearly so nice as people now imagine; but he was a great deal cleverer." Whether you read their correspondence as proof positive of Brooke's bi- or homosexuality will depend on your views of the construction of sexual identity. But it must be said that the poet's account of one schoolboy seduction is written with an icy objectivity that even Edmund White would envy. These letters remain a fascinating record of longtime companionship--no matter how you use that term. --Kerry Fried

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