As a child growing up in Zanesville, Ohio Elizabeth Robins kept scrapbooks about the successes of American actresses in England and Europe. During the 1890s she herself would join this select company, earning a place in theatrical history through legendary performances as Hedda Tesman in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Hilda Wangel in Ibsen’s The Master Builder, and through her efforts (shared at first with Marion Lea) to bring Ibsen to London theatres and provide demanding and exciting roles for actresses by working outside the actor-manager system. Performances in limited runs of controversial Ibsen plays and directing success as an actress-manager were not lucrative, and did not endear ner to mainstream managers. She turned to writing fiction and translating to supplement her income, retiring from the stage in 1902. Her acting and association with the so-called ‘Ibsen campaign secured her in particular the key friendships of playwright and author Florence Bell, William Heinemann, William Archer, and Henry James, and the often presumptuously familiar interest of George Bernard Shaw. Heinemann proposed marriage on several occasions, both he and Shaw being warned off by Robins with guns. Robins and Archer were almost certainly lovers for a significant part of the 1890s. Bell and Archer were until their deaths in 1930 and 1924 respectively Robins’s loyal literary mentors, in spite of political differences over her militant women’s suffragism and aesthetic differences over the role of propaganda in fiction and drama. Shaw gave crucial advice about Robins s 1907 play Votes for Women and encouraged her autobiographical and biographical writing during the 1930s. Heinemann published most of her pre-First World War fiction in Britain, negotiated early American publication, and offered her translation work.
In her day Robins was best known as interpreter of Ibsen, feminist activist, and popular author of The Open Question (1898), The Magnetic North (1904), Votes for Women, and ‘Where Are You Going To …?’, published as My Little Sister in the U.S. (1913). Critics praised in particular her finely detailed character studies, her studies of child life in George Mandevilie’s Husband (1894) and The Open Question, and her insight into masculine experience of Alaskan frontier life in The Magnetic North, comparing it more than favourably with the work of Jack London. She was the leading writer of suffragette fiction and drama, her books and pamphlets often being marketed in Britain through suffragette and feminist bookselling arrangements. The aesthetic value of the documentary realism and explicit feminism in her writing divided critical opinion, with prolixity, flawed construction and sensationalism as the most common complaints. Aspects of Alan’s Wife (1893), coauthored with Florence Bell, The Open Question and A Dark Lantern (1905) challenged the aesthetic moralities of many reviewers.
‘A Rescue Society should be formed without delay for the purpose of reclaiming Miss Elizabeth Robins from the slimy clutches of those who find pleasure in pictures of the charnel house, the dissecting room, or the hospital ward,’ wrote W.M. in a review of Alan’s Wife, Robins’s and Bell’s anonymous adaptation of ‘Befriad,’ a story by Swedish writer Elin Ameen. What W.M. is proposing is the rescue of Robins, the talented actress who played Jean Creyke, from the ‘perverted,’ ‘prurient’ and ‘morbid’ proponents of Ibsenism, J.T. Grein and the unknown author.1 The aesthetic battleground between the author Robins and her detractors during the 1890s would centre on the propriety and the plausibility of her treatments of ‘modern’ social ‘problems.’ Her plots yoke together disparate genres; allude to Gothic elements in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and romantic ones in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, and often draw on melodramatic conventions to bring about changes of fortune or resolution.
The material of Alan’s Wife—a working-class woman’s act of infanticide and defence of it—was predictably controversial. Robins’s performance earned high praise, even from reviewers who judged the play too morbid (more so than Ibsen’s Ghosts) or furiously placed it beyond the pale of art. Her interpretation of the leading role was described as ‘sincere, unaffected, and observant,’ showing an ‘amazing power of pourtraying [sic] the various phases of feminine hysteria and insanity,’ and a scrupulous sense of realistic detail (a slight shoulder stoop to register manual labour). A.B. Walkley worried about the propriety of the ‘accent of truth’ she brought to the part: ‘Has a woman the right to lay bare the inmost fibres of her being in this way before a gaping playhouse crowd?’ In the small venue the atmosphere was so intense that one critic’s ‘nerves were all unstrung by it’;2 the audience was confronted with a series of abject spectacles—Alan Creyke’s mangled body brought home to his pregnant wife on a covered bier after an industrial accident, Jean’s subsequent indifference to the disabled child of the marriage, her baptism and rationalized (or rational) murder of her son, and her refusal to claim the legal defence of pueiperal mania which would save her own life. In general critics used one of two strategies to manage the confrontation with such disturbing material.One line of response was to pronounce tendentiously upon the ‘natural’ behaviour of mothers of children with disabilities,‘the natural mother looks into the cradle with eyes that are blind to deformities, while her heart is filled with an unreasoning hope for merciful compensations in the future’3 being fairly typical. The second line of response was to diagnose the infanticide, variously described as unnatural, unhealthy or insane, as being a product of puerperal mania or ‘nervous homicidal mania.’ (Shaw claimed Robins’s acting ambiguously left this possibility open.)4 Those critics who interpreted the infanticide as an act of euthanasia, although this term was not used, called Jean Creyke a monster. They did not place the act in the context of Jean’s sexualized joy of life and vitality and ingrained contempt for the physically frail (apparent in the history of her childhood relationship with the sickly James Warren, now a platitudinous minister), or her concern that the child’s disabilities will make him so dependent on her that he will not be able to survive long her own death.
The actress, and not the author, was praised for a fine character study; the sensationalism of the material dominated critical assessment of the author(s) and the moral value of the play. Robins’s ‘talent for sensationalism,’ against which Shaw would warn her,5 would often divert critical attention from the finer and more subtle aspects of her writing. None of the critical commentary on Alan’s Wife acknowledged the more innovative technical aspects of the playwriting. The excessive and unrealistic verbalization of motive in melodrama was adapted to detail minutely the response of Jean to her son’s disabilities, a response which will justify in her mind a mercy killing, and the authors adapted the dumb show of French melodrama to dramatize Jean’s inability to communicate her feelings in prison within the sanctioned discourses about infanticide and mothering. She is to gesture such abstract propositions as ‘I don’t want mercy’ and ‘I shall not die unforgiven.’6 She speaks again most dramatically to dispute allegations that her act was a crime, and cowardly. The anonymity of Robins and Bell protected them from personal controversy and notoriety. Robins sought the cover of a pseudonym, C.E. Raimond, for her early fiction and was angry when it was revealed. Gates sums up her reasons: ‘She did not want her fiction to be labelled “Ibsenish”; she feared that her reputation as actress might diminish; she still considered her writing as an apprenticeship.’7 Her insistence on anonymity frustrated efforts to publish the anti-militarist ‘The Book of Revelations’ and led to initially very slow notice and poor sales of Ancilla’s Share: An Indictment of Sex Antagonism (1924) before her authorship was revealed.
The formation and effects of domestic alliances—a theme handled ably and often by Robins—are central to the child life of Rosina, the aspect of George Mandeville’s Husband which earned enduring praise, especially for its restrained pathos. ‘George Mandeville’ is the pseudonym of Lois Wilbraham, a mediocre and pretentious New Woman novelist, who fashionably holds aloft in her fiction ‘the cause of Progress … the banner of Women’s Emancipation,’ but is ironically uninterested in her ‘exceptionally puny and ailing’ daughter who shows no signs of ‘precocious intelligence.’8 George Mandeville’s husband, Ralph Wilbraham, is a painter of ‘sentimental commonplaces’ (2) who desires in a wife a delicate muse, and despises above all female artists and writers. The morbid effects of the tensions within the household are apparent in the sickliness of all three. Rosina goes into an eventually fatal decline after the shock of her modem mother telling her some facts of life. George Mandeville’s absorption in her writing study, her salon and later a theatre—the rooms in which she is driven to take her measure as a writer—produces an ambiguously sustaining yet destructive alliance between Ralph and Rosina. If George Mandeville makes everything ‘so ugly’ for Rosina (97), Ralph’s old-fashioned sentimental visions of middle-class womanhood make her too delicate and unworldly to survive. Like Ibsen, Robins uses symbolic detail very well in her representation of the alliance of Ralph and Rosina against George Mandeville and its impact. Patterns of intimacy within the household, for instance, are suggested by symbolic business involving rooms; the destructiveness of Ralph’s views on women is summed up in Rosina’s desperate deathbed suggestion that she could earn a living by her only clevernesses, plain sewing and jail-window darning.
Archer proclaimed George Mandeville’s Husband to be ‘vehemently, almost violently, reactionary in tendency. It should be balm to the soul of Mrs Lynn Linton.’9 The cultural work performed by the novel is by no means this simple. Robins’s satire on George Mandeville, was generally felt to be excessive—and indeed George Mandeville mighl be read as Robins’s dark double. Arnold Bennett, writing under the pseudonym Barbara, described George Mandeville as ‘much-mauled.’10 Many critics, in fact, chivalrously defended Robins’s female monster in small ways. George Mandeville s Husband had very limited influence, being mentioned in the press in relation to Rita’s A Husband of No Importance and C.E. Francis’s Every Day’s News. By December 1900 2,140 copies had been sold, no sales having been recorded after I February 1895.11 The Woman’s Signal used the publicity surrounding George Mandeville’s Husband to dub Ralph Wilbraham the ‘New Man’: ‘a gentleman who cut the sorriest possible figure in life, who earned not a penny, did scarcely anything except when his wife compelled him … and was the least possible m the way of a living being. The only spirit which he possessed was the spirit of condemnation, and that he had in large measure.’ The editorial proceeded to criticize his hoary double standards about genius, prescriptive attitudes to women and his construction of George Eliot as ‘three parts man,’ and to plead the case for women to be ‘permitted to do what they can in the way of honest, self-respecting, blameless work.’ Robins’s ferocious satirical animus against George Mandeville provides the sensational interest in the novel (even today for feminist critics prescriptively demanding positive role models for women writers). Some reviewers found the dominated Ralph unmanly and implausible; others shared his sentimentality so absolutely they missed Robins’s ambivalent and subtle ironization of it.12
By far Robins’s most ambitious and substantial literary achievement of the 1890s, The Open Question: A Tale of Two Temperaments provoked extraordinary praise and condemnation, and inevitable curiosity about the identity of C.E. Raimond. The individual portraits of displaced Southern matriarch Sarah Gano in all her snobbery, prejudice, conservatism, sense of dignity and stoicism and her ebullient granddaughter Val’s childhood were very widely acclaimed. Yet in spite of these strengths W.L. Courtney thought the novel a ‘nightmare begotten on a reading of Nietzsche’s philosophy.’ After Robins’s identity as author was revealed the parentage of the novel was denounced in such formulations as ‘Miss Zarathustra Gabler,’ ‘Ibsen and Anarchism,’ and ‘George Eliot and Ibsen, with the Popular Science Monthly as godfather.’13
What the New Age reviewer called the book’s ‘problem-devil’14 mixes questions of consanguinous marriage, hereditary disease (tuberculosis), responsibility for reproduction, and the ethics of suicide. The double suicide by drowning of Val and Ethan Gano, first cousins, closes the novel; Val is pregnant. Their decision is explained implicitly as art inevitable product of their characters, developed through the pressures of heredity, family values, experience, and the particularities of smalltown American life. Like George Eliot in The Mill on the Floss and Sarah Grand in The Heavenly Twins, Robins produces a double and gendered Bildungsroman of male and female family members. The problem-devil’ was of very immediate concern to Robins, not simply a facile endorsement of a fin-de-siecle cult of suicide. Consanguineous marriages and tuberculosis ran in her family lines. Even her parents, Charles Ephraim Robins and Hannah Maria Crow, were first cousins. Two of Robins s siblings died in infancy, a sickly sister died at twenty, Robins herself suffered severe bronchial ailments, and Raymond Robins, her beloved brother, whom she had ‘mothered’ when he was very young, experienced childhood epilepsy. Hannah’s mental health from 1873 until her death in 1901 was poor, warranting, according to the standards of the day, her institutionalization in 1885. Her symptoms suggest schizophrenia. (It was Hannah, however, who borrowed the money from her doctor to pay for acting lessons for Elizabeth. She herself had been an opera singer. Charles, a banker, later prospector and farmer, had lost his wife’s and then his own fortune.) From the age of ten Robins was raised by her paternal grandmother Jane Hussey Robins, on whom she modelled Sarah Gano and to whom she (at first privately) dedicated The Open Question. In C.E. Raimond’s The New Moon (1895) Dorothy Lance, whose mother died insane, reads Mercier, Maudsley, Ribot, Bastian and Wundt on nerves and heredity, weighing up the responsibilities associated with marriage. There were apparently no descendants of any of the four Robins children who survived to adulthood. Robins married actor George Richmond Parks in 1885 (1884 according to one annotation by Robins);15 he committed suicide by drowning himself in a suit of stage armour in 1887. It is unclear whether the wearing of stage armour was a grandiloquent gesture or a means of weighting the body or had some deeper significance in the relationship. Robins was in her mid-twenties at the time, and while living to 1952, never remarried. In the process of coming to terms with Parks’ action and playing Hedda Tesman Robins read Schopenhauer on suicide and debated its ethics with Archer. Olive Anderson argues that ‘proponents of “the new morality’” in the 1890s ‘liked to depict suicide as sometimes the final proof of unselfish love or the way to keep a dream secure.’ In the Daily Chronicle Robins defends the double suicide as ‘altruism, not egoism,’ no matter how ‘morbid,’ ‘cowardly’ or ‘reprehensible’ the action; Val’s decision is motivated in large part by a desire to secure a dream of ‘overmastering’ love.16
‘House property’17—the Fort in New Plymouth—figures prominently in The Open Question, and is central to the development of themes of inheritance, dispossession, resistance to democratizing historical change, decay, and the frustration of daughterly ambitions beyond Sarah Gano’s bounds of womanly propriety. Mrs Gano disparages the writing of daughter Valeria and granddaughter Val. In a letter to W.T. Stead solicited for Review of Reviews Robins characterized Val as an optimist, Ethan (an imitative poet) as a pessimist, embodiments of light and dark respectively.18 Ethan, burdened by his experiences of decadent Paris, first perceives Val as a muse of Liberty (replete with lamp). The energy Val invests in artistic ambition becomes turned inwards within the family to a romance with Ethan; the writing which epitomizes her desire shifts from ballads she would sing as a diva in Europe to letters to Ethan which dramatize the minutiae of her daily life as household manager. Her willed movement beyond the moral and social boundaries and hierarchies of the Fort involves a clandestine meeting with Ethan and a discreetly sexualized boating outing with him, which implicitly invites contrast willi Maggie Tulliver and Stephen Guest’s river journey.
Robins gained recognition as an aesthetic innovator in the Edwardian period for a range of novels and a play: The Magnetic North, A Dark Lantern, Votes for Women, The Convert (1907) and ‘Come and Find Me!’ (1908).These texts have a documentary realist generic layer for which Robins drew on diaries, notes of her own experiences, and for Votes for Women and The Convert on Mary Higgs’s ‘Three Nights in Women’s Lodging Houses’ (1905) and her own research on militanl women’s suffrage rallies for a play commissioned by Gertrude Kingston which effected ner conversion to the cause. These documentary realist generic layers were often contested by critics on aesthetic and political grounds. Robins also gathered material on the white slave traffic and on race relations in the U.S.A. in this period—on this latter issue Joanne Gates even argues that her meeting with W.E.B. DuBois was also a conversion experience—but her use of this material fictionally and polemically is problematic, as I argue later.
In 1900 Robins left England on a rescue mission. Raymond Robins was obsessed with securing power and prestige through wealth, fantasizing that a large enough fortune would induce ‘Sister Bessie’ to return to the U.S. to live with him. There is a conventual ring to the ‘Sister,’ for the pact he proposed entailed that neither of them would marry and that they would dedicate themselves to the high cause of careers. In a state of anger at Elizabeth’s refusal to join him in San Francisco and dejection at what he saw as the years of poverty facing the using lawyer, he left for the Klondyke gold rush in 1897. Alarmed by what she read as the danger of his conversion to Catholicism (the family was Episcopalian) and the deterioration of their epistolary contact, and having been commissioned by W.T. Stead to write articles about her trip, Robins set out for Nome, Alaska in 1900. In Alaska she contracted typhoid fever; rest cures were prescribed in England as part of her convalescence.
The Magnetic North (1904) was based on the Alaska diaries of Raymond Robins and his partner Albert Schulte, thinly fictionalized as the Boy (Morris Burnet) and Colonel George Warren, and talks with Raymond. Raymond did not care for the book. Robins later returned to Alaskan material in ‘Come and Find Me!’, which drew more on her experience of the journey to Nome and awkwardly blended masculine and feminine romances of the North, the unpublished ‘Go To Sleep Stories,’ and the autobiographical Raymond and I (1956), written during the 1930s. Raymond refused to authorize publication of Raymond and I in his lifetime. He was by then a leading social reformer and well-known political figure, trying to rehabilitate his public image after a much publicized disappearance and police search. Robins shaped The Magnetic North as a story of male bonding through common adversity—the unfamiliar and gruelling Alaskan elements and disillusionment with the romance of easy gold. Reviewers marvelled at a woman writing with such emotional verisimilitude of a largely masculinized territory and of part of men’s lives, ‘their mutual relations, which is generally hidden from womanhood.’ A couple even adapted Samuel Johnson’s infamous comment about woman’s preaching, and one remarked ‘If only women would make it their business to write such books, what a relief it would be …’19 The repeated and generally favourable comparisons with the work of Jack London, Bret Harte and Mark Twain are indicative of the ease with which the novel could be assimilated into a genre of ‘male’ writing, although critics still looked for signs of femininity. Collier’s thought her picture of the Klondyke ‘softer’ tnan London’s, praising her for knowing how to humanize it without crossing the boundary line between sympathy and sentimentality’; the Saturday Review thought she crossed the line in ‘sentimental concessions’ like the ‘Esquimaux baby in the Winter Camp, and Maudie in Minook.’ For W.L. Courtney the novel was admirably ‘conceived in the masculine spirit’ yet the ‘general course of the narrative’ did not ‘show many traces of the controlling hand.’20 The documentary realism worried quite a few critics, who felt it blurred generic boundaries between fiction and such ‘factual’ prose forms as the guide-book and the ‘transcript from experience.’21 The same anxiety is apparent in the reception of ‘Come and Find Me!’ The Saturday Review, for instance, dubbed Robins’s account of Hildegarde Mar’s journey to Nome ‘animated joumalism.’22
The reader of A Dark Lantern for Macmillan in the U.S. immediately matched a name to the methods of the doctor supervising Katherine Dereham’s rest cure. Like Robins, she had been treated by Dr Vaughn Harley. His rest cure comprised the usual elements of isolation, rest, massage and over-feeding, but his bedside manner, it would seem on the strength of A Dark Lantern, was characterized by a misogyny inflected by class contempt. In representing the misogyny Robins draws on an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British tradition of orientalizing it, especially in symbolic business involving Garth Vincent’s trained dog, Young Turk. Garth Vincent’s professional manners were compared with the manners of Petruchio by Courtney and Stead; other reviewers placed Vincent in the Rochester or the outwardly-severe-but-secretly-tender doctor mould familiar from women’s romance writing or the Beauty and the Beast tradition of fairy tale.23 Virginia Stephen (later Woolf), who had also been treated with a rest cure, reviewed the novel anonymously, finding Robins brutal. Robins draws out in the minute account of Katherine’s rest cure the covert sexual dynamic informing the doctor-patient and the doctor-nurse relationships and the class dimensions of the sexual dynamic. She blends the documentation of the rest cure with two cross-class romance plots involving aristocratic Katherine. Self-made ‘black-magic’ man24 Garth Vincent and his property become the agents and muses of Katherine’s poetic and sexual awakening, although class tensions and anxieties complicate their de facto and then legalized marriage. (Katherine has earlier refused a proposal of morganatic marriage from Prince Anton of Breitenlohe-Waldenstein.) Seeking to provide a motive for Vincent’s class-inflected misogyny, Robins mystifies its origins in a barely particularized witness of, perhaps participation, in the debaucheries of a decadent underworld. Her glimpses of such underworlds here and in The Open Question and ‘Where Are You Going To …?’ are hackneyed and unconvincing in their melodramatic playing out of Manichean stereotypes. The class dimension of Katherim and Vincent’s relationship goes unremarked, even in recent critical commentary on the novel.
Many contemporary reviewers were outraged by the aestheticized morality of the de facto marriage, both Katherine’s proposing ‘her own degradation, without a shred of encouragement’ and Vincent’s ‘wilful shaming of her by accepting it.25 Mona Caird, Courtney and Stead condemned what they read as Robins’s reactionary sexual politics; bin using a discourse of evolution Edward Gamett championed Katherine’s defiance of convention to pursue the ‘best and strongest’ mate. In the hackneyed melodramatic language of seduction Stead worried about the treacherous and cheapening model Katherine’s behaviour offered women, yet moved quickly to separate Robins’s personal morality from her heroine’s. Courtney and Caird found the book antithetical to the women’s movement, Caird suggesting that Robins’s moral was that a wife ‘has no personal rights where her husband is concerned.’ She cited in particular two incidents symbolic of Vincent’s ‘dishonourable violation’ of Katherine’s right to privacy and personal protection, interestingly, given the class backgrounds of the two, comparing his invasion of her privacy with the behaviour of an untrustworthy housemaid.26 For all their protestations Caird, Courtney and Stead do not criticize the rest cure per se, a medical practice read by later feminist critics as a site of reactionary imposition of a stereotypical womanly ideal. Robins’s final scene alludes to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (1892), bringing into sharp focus the different outcomes of the rest cure. She, like Gilman, seems to have been unaware of Cyril Bennett’s earlier critiques of aspects of the sexual politics of the rest cure.27
In writing to Robins of the suffragette material in the play which would become Votes for Women Florence Bell used a language of discovery, and suggested it was bound to cause a stir. For Robins the play was the ‘first thing … written under the pressure of a strong moral conviction.’28 What began for Robins as an exercise of the flaneuse in documenting the historically momentous emergence of the militant suffrage campaign—then firmly allied with labour politics—became the conversion experience in which the emergence of suffragette literature was grounded.
Looking back on her suffragette activism in Way Stations (1913), Robins represented her conversion in 1906 and her pamphlets, speeches, articles and letters to newspapers as a travelling on ‘the road to enlightenment.’ She was converted by the Women’s Social and Political Union’s wielding of the ‘Power of the Word,’ ‘the most effectual weapon in all man’s armoury,’ and the exposure of the sham of masculine chivalry effected by the sex-antagonism provoked by militant suffragette expression of political opinion. In a 1906 letter to the Times she characterized herself before her conversion as an ignorant beneficiary of upper-middle-class feminine privilege, feeling ‘at liberty to condemn the less fortunate—or less self-centred?’29 Robins helped organize the Women Writers’ Suffrage League and the Actresses’ Franchise League and was a member of the board of the W.S.P.U. from 1907 to 1912. The split between the W.S.P.U. and the Pethick-Lawrences in 1912 threw into sharp relief her anxieties about Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst’s style of leadership of the W.S.P.U. In 1919 (limited women’s suffrage having been granted in 1918) Robins anticipated becoming a feminist influence in British journalism. After the First World War she also worked for the Six Point Group, the Association for Social and Moral Hygiene, and the Women’s Institute movement, and lobbied on health and medical issues affecting women and children. Health problems and her utter abhorrence of Rebecca West curtailed her membership of the board of the independent journal Time and Tide. In 1927 she converted Backsettown, the Sussex property she had acquired in 1908, into the Backsettown Home of Rest for over-fatigued professional and activist women and mothers. After Robins’s death the intermittent sale of parcels of manuscript material helped fund the Home.
Robins prefaced her personalized chronology of the militant campaign with ‘Woman’s Secret,’ originally published as a W.S.P.U. pamphlet. The ‘secret’ is woman’s point of view suppressed in public by the dominant idealization of the ‘silent woman,’ men s scorn of women’s airing of grievances, and the author writing her stories as she ‘fashioned her gowns and formed her manners’—to be ‘the man’s woman’ in method and point of view.30 In Votes for Women and The Convert Robins stages the power of the militant suffragette word in 1906, and its freeing of Vida Levering’s woman’s point of view, as she connects her personal suffering to the economic and political subordination of British women. An important aspect of Robins’s subsequent fiction, too, is her revisioning of scenarios from her earlier work. In Come and Find Me!’ she rewrote the ‘essentially male quest story’ and redefined ‘the Alaskan adventure as one of female faith, perseverance and women’s bonding.’31 In The Florentine Frame she reworked George Mandeville’s usurpations of her husband’s studios. American playwright Chester Keith takes over Isabella Roscoe’s study, reducing her from being an aspiring writer to being his patron, muse and romantic interest. Time Is Whispering (1923) restaged a match between a misogynist and an aesthetically sensitive woman, although the reconciliation was effected not by a sexual dynamic but through mutual dedication to a more benevolent management of empire and loving management of the English countryside. Common dedication to the countryside also reconciles generations.
The Trafalgar Square women’s suffrage rally which comprised the second act of Votes for Women fascinated the London audience. ‘[S]ome half-hour or so of the most brilliantly forcible, lively, shrewd, and humorous platform oratory on the suffrage question—yards of glorious irrelevance,’ wrote the Daily Chronicle reviewer, implicitly gendering a perceived structural defect in the play.32 Its documentary realism, sometimes characterized as racy, was widely attributed to brilliant stage management rather than Robins. Shaw had offered the insistent advice about including the interjections and the banter between speakers and audience. The play’s narrative draws its patterns of intelligibility from drawing-room melodrama, given an allusive register through the naming of characters. Vida Levering is the wronged woman with a past who confronts her seducer, Geoffrey Stonor, now a rising Conservative politician and engaged to ingenue Beatrice (Jean in the published text) Dunbarton. In Vida’s youth Stonor had, it is implied, taken advantage ol her destitution after she left home because of the sexual irregularities of her father. Because Stonor would not risk his patrimony when Vida became pregnant, he pressured her to have an abortion, an experience which destroyed her love for him. Through allusion to Dante’s Divine Comedy, which Vida is reading, Robins suggests that her conversion to the women’s suffrage cause and social activism for homeless women offers a personal redemption from wandering ‘homeless on the skirts ol limbo among the abortions and offscourings of Creation’ like the Vigliacchi who ‘stood aloof from strife … never felt the pangs of partizanship.’33 In The Convert Robins gives more depth to Vida’s story by showing her family relations, the inertia and misogynistic humour of her class milieu characterized as both medieval and oriental in its outlook, and the process of a conversion through interested witness of several rallies which liberates her to speech, sexual political insights, and feminist social agency.
The critical reaction to the play and the novel was characterized by widespread anxiety about their perceived blurring of the boundaries between what were constructed as ideally separate spheres: the propagandist^ tract and art; and a ‘private’ affair and the public issue of votes for women. This reception is inextricably linked with broader anxieties about pro-suffrage challenges to a dominant ideology of separate social spheres for men and women. Much of the critical language is ripe for feminist deconstruction. ‘To be conscious of a grievance is a bad soil from which the artistic flower is to bloom, because when one is profoundly interested, the stress is apt to be laid on the wrong points, and the artist should, above all, have a disengaged and neutral mind,’ wrote W.L. Courtney. A few reviewers punned on the punning name of Robins’s suffragette leader Ernestine Blunt. The Evening Standard and St James’s Gazette, for example, suggested that Robins ‘[sank] the artist in the earnest.’ Critical efforts to police the separation of aesthetic and political spheres often made explicit usually unstated aesthetic assumptions. P.C. in the Manchester Guardian, for instance, argued: ‘Judged by the Aristotelian definition of character illustrated by circumstance, the play contained little enough of drama, for the characters never became individually interesting, and the circumstances were chosen rather as presenting successive facets of the suffragist cause than as eloquent in their revelation of personality.’ Arnold Bennett complained that the ‘sexual matter’ confused the political issue, because the play could not deal with ‘principles in the abstract.’ Several critics challenged the representativeness of Vida’s experience, or attributed to her a revenge motive in proclaiming the cause. William Archer thought the ‘muscular tissue’ of Acts One and Three ‘a trifle flabby,’ and, explicitly eschewing the aesthetic criticism Robins would deprecate, argued that the play was marred by the failure to present even ‘one sincere and competent opponent of Woman’s Suffrage and an ‘over-valuation of democracy as an instrument.’34
The moral crusade of the W.S.P.U. was characterized in its day and is still being represented by historians as part of a ‘campaign of sedulously cultivated sexual hysterics’ generated in large part by the moral agitation and publicity surrounding the passage through Parliament of the 1912 Criminal Law Amendment (White Slavery) Bill.35 The key texts of the crusade were Robins’s novel ‘Where Are You Going To …?’ and Christabel Pankhurst’s tract The Great Scourge and How to End It, published within months of each other in 1913. Today the place of Where Are You Going To …?’ in the W.S.P.U.’s moral crusade is almost entirely forgotten. In 1913 Dean Wilberforce used the book in sermons at St John’s, Westminster and Westminster Abbey. The novel, frequently dubbed the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of white slavery, was extraordinarily widely and sensationally reviewed by a deeply divided critical audience. In 1913, too, ex-suffragette Teresa Billington-Greig denounced the White Slavery panic as a ‘campaign of terrible tales’ of forcible trapping of young girls ‘offered second or third hand,’ and the suffragette ‘Mothers of the New Church’ who threatened ‘the future by the whitewashing of women and the doctrine of the uncleanness of men.’36 Robins’s unpublished response to vilification of Pankhurst and herself and to Billington-Greig’s widely reported ‘The Truth about White Slavery’, ‘Christabel Pankhurst and White Slavery or the Girl with the Lamp, is among her papers in the Fales Library, New York University. Robins and Cicely Hamilton’s stage adaptation of ‘Where Are You Going To …?’ was refused a licence in 1914 (see p. 25).
Robins’s narrative of the abduction of two sheltered middle-class girls at Victoria Station was developed from a story told to her by Maud Pember Reeves. Reeves claimed in 1907 that she remembered it to have happened at least fifteen years before. The documentary value of the narrative became an important issue in the reception of the novel. The Herald (New York) reviewer, for instance, said that ‘as a picture of actual conditions it is beneath contempt’ and Clement Shorter declared it ‘absolutely unproved gossip of people anxious to further their cause by any fiction.’ Robins responded by claiming the veracity of her case, the artistic licence and tact of her embellishment of it, and the typicality of her picture of police complacency and lack of power to suppress the traffic. She insisted that had she dealt with a far more representative case involving working-class girls her novel would not have had her desired effect in appealing sentimentally to the consciences of readers to redeem Bettina’s entrapment by agitation for further reform.37 The sickly widowed mother’s unworldliness—troped as fear of contamination, especially from the working class—is partly excused by her having been attacked in her former Indian home by a male intruder (of no fixed racial identity, but white in the stage adaptation). It is, too, her desire to secure a conservative femininity in her daughters which induces her to send them to an estranged aunt for a London season. Outrage at the abduction, at the venality of madam and her clients, and at the police investigation works to deflect and overwhelm earlier implied criticism of the mother’s values.
As in the work of most writers of her day racial and ethnic stereotypes abound, and it is not my intention to labour the instances. In Robins’s introduction to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1909) she suggested that in Louisville, Kentucky (her birthplace) white people subscribed to a model of benevolent overlordship in a racial hierarchy.38 Ultimately this was a model, secured by entrenched racial and class privilege (rather than slavery), Robins was never able to move beyond. In 1905 she projected writing a novel on miscegenation. Her views on the topic are apparent in notes among her papers:
Men notoriously do not shrink from miscegenation. The normal white woman lives without discomfort with yellow or black men all about her. She has always used them as servants without the smallest objection—she has often liked them very sincerely—and missed them sadly when they or she has been removed. She does not shrink from Kaffir or chinaman except in one relation.
The shrinking from that relation, she writes, will keep the races sound and pure’39 The anti-militarist introduction to Ancilla’s Share shows a familiarity with the writing of Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. DuBois, but her argument is that white supremacy, ideally maintained by ‘divine right of a high order of intelligence applied through good-will,’40 is threatened by black militancy abetted by militarist cultures and the military training of black U.S. and European colonial troops in the First World War. In The Secret That Was Kept (1926) Robins shows how the rape myth of the American South generates panic which results in summary and unjust lynching, and is used to circumscribe white upper-middle-class women’s movement beyond the home and induce dependence on male protection. (Fear of and disgust at rape of innocent victims informed the White Slave Traffic campaigns. Disappointingly Robins could not conceptualize polemically or fictionally the way the White Slave Traffic panic reinforced conservative models of femininity for women of many classes.) The Secret That Was Kept needs to be read in the historical context of the conservative and racist circulation of the rape myth in U.S. debates and campaigns surrounding the proposed Dyer anti-lynching Bill in the early 1920s.41 Robins’s position on the rape myth in this context is both liberal and feminist. In lurid business involving a black convict killing a huge black snake which threatens the temporarily unchaperoned June Purdey, Robins implies that the black man derives satisfaction from the white overseer’s fear of the snake. The violence to white characters in the Florida setting comes melodramatically from the jealous embezzler husband who fakes his own death and returns to confront his unwittingly bigamist wife, and his illegitimate, blackmailing son by a white domestic servant. Amicable interracial relations on the Florida estate are guaranteed, it is implied, by June Purdey and Terence Byrne following Cousin Augusta’s practices in managing idle and pilfering black employees, and by June Purdey’s power of sexual refusal to redeem Terence from a tawdry sexual past (with white women). His familiarity with black employees is figured as erasure of class distinction and soiling. The discontinuities between realistic and melodramatic registers, the inheritance plot, and the racial stereotypes compromise the racial liberalism of the novel. Robins’s explanation of interracial tension is ultimately sexual; the structural and epistemic violence of racism is not figured as such.
By 1919 Robins had become ominously aware of a changing aesthetic mood in Britain. The emergence of Dorothy Richardson was, she wrote to Florence Bell, a ‘portent.’ Modernist writing she found ‘queer,’ ‘clever,’ ‘sordid,’ although she would, with reservations, come to admire Richardson’s and Virginia Woolf’s fiction.42 The narrative weight of Time Is Whispering endorses Mrs Lathom’s sentiments about male modernist poets. ‘They were,’ she thinks, “‘out for” cleaning the stables by scattering the dung abroad,’ providing a ‘spectacle of sickness’ which ought to be forbidden by public hygiene. What ‘shows them up’ is that ‘their most disgusting thoughts are about women. All their foulest similes, images.’43 Robins’s language uncannily echoes that of reviewers offended by her own violations of their aesthetic moralities. Modernism and its crucial role in forming the aesthetic tastes which have structured twentieth-century academic canon-formation have obscured the literary achievements of Robins. Reviews of Robins’s The Mills of the Gods and Other Stories (1920) by Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield are prophetic of the eclipse of her reputation. In 1908 Mansfield had found Robins’s ‘Come and Find Me!’ inspirational, writing in her journal: ‘it creates in me such a sense of power. I feel that I do now realise, dimly, what women in the future will be capable of.’ In 1920 she damned m Robins’s old-fashioned stories the ‘hollowness beneath the surface,’ the ‘false situations which are not even novel.’ Woolf’s anonymous review rehearsed arguments and tropological characterizations of pre-war writing which she would later develop in her modernist manifesto ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown.’ Robins is arguably the missing woman in Woolf’s famous company of Edwardian writers—Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy—but Woolf felt that her commendable ‘bare brevity’ of style was manly.44
A sharp decline in Robins’s literary reputation can, in fact, be dated from 1918. Excited by serialization fees offered by U.S. magazines, Robins seemed to pitch more of her fiction towards a popular American market. In Britain firstly war-time paper shortages and then changing editorial policies brought about a dramatic decline in the extent of newspaper book review space. Camilla (1918), a transatlantic novel about divorce and recommitment which failed to earn the advance on American royalties, The Messenger (1919), a sensational transatlantic spy novel, described in the Daily Chronicle as ‘Wasted Talent’ and in Truth as ‘a very dead horse indeed,’45 and The Secret That Was Kept could not sustain the interest of more highbrow literary journals in her work. From 1898 to 1913 Robins’s fiction was often featured as a Book of the Month in Review of Reviews (London). Her most ambitious and carefully developed post-war novel, Time Is Whispering, was frequently given brief, even cursory notice—a sentence or two—Robins being repeatedly characterized as an older writer, and sometimes nostalgically praised for old-fashioned literary virtue, particularly leisureliness.
Largely through the work of feminist critics and drama historians during the last twenty years, Robins’s theatrical career is becoming better known in academic circles. Her literary reputation today rests on Votes for Women, The Convert, and a certain notoriety as the author of George Mandevilie’s Husband. Her fiction is often read glibly and anachronistically in relation to its historical context, the cultural work it performed, and its reception. Lack of an adequate bibliography of primary and secondary sources has been part of the problem. In 1994 two biographies, one by literary critic Joanne Gates, the other by historian Angela John, are scheduled for publication. Gates’s doctoral thesis is distinguished by useful discussion of Robins’s unpublished plays, stoiil and novels, and a careful effort to situate her as an American writer All recent Robins scholars acknowledge the pioneering biographical work of Jane Marcus in her 1973 doctoral dissertation.
This work on Robins developed out of a larger and continuing project on the iconography of British women’s relationship to the state, 1905-1918, which him been awarded generous financial support: a Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission Special Research Grant; grants by the School of Humanities, I n Trobe University; outside studies programme travel grants by La Trobl University; and a Visiting Scholarship at the Humanities Research Centro, Australian National University. Research assistants Lorraine Bullock and Steve McIntyre collated bibliographical information on Robins from standard sources During the course of the project I have had the pleasure of working with amazing librarians: Frank Walker and Maxime La Fantasie at the Fales Library. New York University and David Doughan at the Fawcett Library, London Guildhall University. Special thanks, too, to library staff at the Borchardi Library, La Trobe University, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, the New York Public Library, the British Library and the many, many archivists and manuscript librarians who answered enquiries concerning Robins manuscripts. The Athenaeum Indexing Project at the City University, London graciously allowed access to its marked file of the Athenaeum; Charles Seaton, the librarian at the Spectator office, checked the marked file of the Spectator promptly and courteously. I appreciated the conversation, hospitality, and generosity of Angela John, and the encouragement and enthusiasm of the Hon. Mrs Mabel Smith, Peter Edwards and Barbara Garlick. I and the publisher wish to thank Mabel Smith for the Backsettown Trust, the Fales Library, the Fawcett Library, and the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, University of Illinois for permission to quote from manuscript sources.
ER Elizabeth Robins
ERP Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University. The Papers are divided into series and subseries, boxes and folders. I give enough information to identify the location of materials. A notation like Series 11A refers to Series 11, Subseries A.
CRIBRHJ Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974.
CRIBRSJ Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews inScholarly Journals, 1886-1974.
- W.M., ‘The Gruesome Grein,’ rev. of Alan’s Wife, Hawk 10 May 1893: 16. [↩]
- Reviews of Alan’s Wife, Observer 30 Apr 1893; Sunday Sun 30 Apr 1893; Land and Water 6 May 1893; Speaker 6 May 1893: 512 (by A.B. W[alkley]); and Black and White 6 May 1893 respectively. [↩]
- W. Moy Thomas, rev. of Alan’s Wife, Graphic 6 May 1893: 499. [↩]
- Rev. of Alan’s Wife, Gentlewoman 6 May 1893; George Bernard Shaw, letter to William Archer, published anonymously in Alan’s Wife (London: Henry, 1893). [↩]
- George Bernard Shaw, letter to Elizabeth Robins, Collected Letters: 1898-1910, ed. Dan H. Laurence (London: Max Reinhardt, 1972) 78. [↩]
- Elizabeth Robins and Florence Bell, Alan’s Wife, in New Woman Plays, ed. Linda Fitzsimmons and Viv Gardner (London: Methuen, 1991) 23-24. [↩]
- Joanne Gates, ‘“Sometimes Suppressed and Sometimes Embroidered”: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Robins, 1862-1952,’ diss. University of Massachusetts, 1987, 89. [↩]
- C.E. Raimond, George Mandeville’s Husband (London: Heinemann, 1894) 7, 5. All further references are to this edition. [↩]
- Rev. of George Mandeville’s Husband, Daily Chronicle 24 July 1894. Robins identified the reviewer as W.A., i.e., William Archer. [↩]
- Barbara [Arnold Bennett], ‘Book Chat,’ Woman 8 Aug 1894: 9. [↩]
- Rev. of A Husband of No Importance, by Rita, Daily Telegraph 21 Sept 1894; rev. of Every Day’s News, by C.E. Francis, Saturday Review 18 May 1895: 661; William Heinemann, letter to Elizabeth Robins, 17 Dec 1900, Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University. [↩]
- ‘What Her Body and Soul Permit.’ Woman’s Signal 2.40 (4 Oct 1894): 1. Reviews of George Mandeville’s Husband, Liverpool Mercury 15 Aug 1894; Publishers’ Circular 18 Aug 1894; Illustrated London News 8 Sept 1894. Douglas Sladen, reviewing for Literary World 3 Aug 1894, and Jerome J. Jerome (according to Robins) for To-day n.d. missed the irony. [↩]
- W.L. Courtney, rev. of The Open Question, Daily Telegraph 16 Nov 1898: 4; paragraph, Daily Telegraph 4 Jan 1899; reviews of The Open Question, Daily News 12 Dec 1898; and New York Life 16 Feb 1899. [↩]
- Rev. of The Open Question, New Age 29 Dec 1898: 607. [↩]
- Annotation on entry in Who’s Who in America. Vol. 19. 1936-1937., Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University, Series 12B, 6. [↩]
- Olive Anderson, Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987) 242-243; Elizabeth Robins, letter, Daily Chronicle 16 Dec 1898. [↩]
- ‘House property,’ writes Virginia Woolf, ‘was the common ground from which the Edwardians found it easy to proceed to intimacy.’ Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown (London: Hogarth, 1924) 17. [↩]
- Published in W.T. Stead, rev. of The Open Question, Review of Reviews (London) XIX (Jan-June 1899): 85. [↩]
- Reviews of The Magnetic North, Sunday Times and Sunday Special 13 Mar 1904 (by F.G. Bettany); Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) 4 June 1904; Nashville News 11 June 1904; Chicago Post 25 June 1904. [↩]
- Reviews of The Magnetic North, Collier’s 27 Aug 1904; Saturday Review 26 Mar 1904: 400; and by W.L. Courtney, Daily Telegraph 11 Mar 1904. [↩]
- The Saturday Review worried about its guide-book aspect, Courtney that it was too much a ‘transcript from experience.’ William Morton Payne, reviewer for Dial 16 July 1904: 39, was anxious about its ‘record of fact.’ [↩]
- 22. Rev. of ‘Come and Find Me!’, Saturday Review 29 Feb 1908: 273. [↩]
- Reviews of A Dark Lantern, Daily Telegraph 12 May 1905: 6 (by W.L. Courtney); Review of Reviews (London) XXXI (Jan-June 1905): 655 (by W.T. Stead). Vincent was compared with Rochester in reviews in the Evening Standard and St James’s Gazette 10 May 1905: 13; Athenaeum 27 May 1905: 651; Field 24 June 1905; and Guardian [Church Weekly] 24 May 1905: 899 (by Virginia Stephen); with the doctor type in the Westminster Gazette 20 May 1905; and with the Beast in the Daily Chronicle 10 May 1905: 3. [↩]
- Elizabeth Robins, A Dark Lantern: A Story with a Prologue (London: Heinemann, 1905) 188. Vincent is sexualized through his roughness, sensitive hands and Italian allusions. [↩]
- Reviews of A Dark Lantern, British Journal of Nursing 3 June 1905 (by G.M.R.); Outlook 10 June 1905. [↩]
- Edward Garnett, rev. of A Dark Lantern, Speaker 27 May 1905: 216; Stead, rev. of A Dark Lantern: 657; and Mona Caird, ‘The Position of Women. I. The Duel of the Sexes.— A Comment’, Fortnightly Review n.s. LXXVIII (July-Dec 1905): 109-110. [↩]
- Cyril Bennett, The Modern Malady; or, Sufferers from ‘Nerves’ (London: Edward Arnold, 1890). Bennett had already written a novel which critiqued the prescription of and motives for enforcing the rest cure and aspects of its administration, The Massage Case, 2 vols. (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). [↩]
- Florence Bell, letter to Elizabeth Robins, 2 Jan 1907, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; Elizabeth Robins, letter to Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1 Nov 1906, Fawcett Library, London Guildhall University, London. [↩]
- Elizabeth Robins, Way Stations (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1913) 20, 23, 27; Elizabeth Robins, ‘Women’s Suffrage,’ letter, Times 6 Nov 1906: 4. [↩]
- 30. Way Stations 13, 5. [↩]
- Gates, 292. [↩]
- Rev. of Votes for Women, Daily Chronicle 10 Apr 1907: 5. [↩]
- Elizabeth Robins, Votes for Women: A Play in Three Acts (London: Mills and Boon, ) 46. [↩]
- W.L. Courtney, rev. of The Convert, Daily Telegraph 18 Oct 1907: 12; reviews of Votes for Women, Evening Standard and St James’s Gazette 10 Apr 1907; Manchester Guardian 10 Apr 1907: 12 (by P.C.); and Daily News 10 Apr 1907: 12 (by E.A.B. [Arnold Bennett]). As an example of contestation of the representativeness of Vida’s experience and her motives see rev. of The Convert, Scotsman 21 Oct 1907: 3. [↩]
- Teresa Billington-Greig, ‘The Truth About White Slavery,’ English Review June 1913: 443. Her view accords with the analyses provided by Edward J. Bristow, Vice and Vigilance: Purity Movements in Britain since 1700 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1977) and David Mitchell, Queen Christabel: A Biography of Christabel Pankhurst (London: Macdonald and Jane’s, 1977). For more recent feminist challenges to this view see Lisa Tickner, The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign 1907-14 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1987) and Janet Lyon, ‘Militant Discourse, Strange Bedfellows: Suffragettes and Vorticists before the War,’ differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 4.2 (1992): 100-133. [↩]
- Billington-Greig, 428, 446. [↩]
- Maud Pember Reeves, letter to Elizabeth Robins, 22 Mar 1907, Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University; rev. of My Little Sister, Herald (New York) 18 Jan 1913; C.K.S. [Clement Shorter], rev. of ‘Where Are You Going To …?’, Sphere 18 Jan 1913. Robins defended her story in a letter to the Herald 8 Feb 1913; in a letter to Harriet Burton Laidlaw, quoted in her rev. of My Little Sister, Survey 3 May 1913: 200; and in the unpublished ‘Christabel Pankurst and White Slavery or the Girl with the Lamp,’ Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University. [↩]
- The historical ramifications of this model are discussed by George C. Wright, Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky 1865-1930 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, [c. 1985]). [↩]
- Notes among the Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University, Series 7, Box 86, Folder 32. [↩]
- Ancilla’s Share: An Indictment of Sex Antagonism (London: Hutchinson, 1924) xxxiii. [↩]
- On the history of the Bill and its failure in 1922 see Robert L. Zangrando, The NAACP Crusade Against Lynching, 1909-1950 (Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1980). The threat of interracial rape drives Under the Southern Cross (1907), a novella about a white woman who becomes the object of desire of a wealthy Peruvian. [↩]
- ER to Florence Bell, 21 Feb 1919. In this letter she described Richardson’s work as ‘queer,’ in her 1918 Notebook as ‘sordid, clever’ [sic]. She described Katherine Mansfield’s stories as ‘clever, disgusting’ in her diary, 27 Jan 1921, and May Sinclair’s Mary Olivier as having a ‘repellant [sic] cleverness’ in a letter to Florence Bell, 27 June 1919. All of this manuscript material is among the Elizabeth Robins Papers, Fales Library, New York University. [↩]
- 43. Elizabeth Robins, Time Is Whispering (London: Hutchinson, 1923) 89-91. [↩]
- Katherine Mansfield, Journal of Katherine Mansfield, ed. J. Middleton Murry (London: Constable, 1962) 36; Katherine Mansfield, Novels and Novelists, ed. J. Middleton Murry (London: Constable, 1930) 211; Virginia Woolf, rev. of The Mills of the Gods and Other Stories, Times Literary Supplement 17 June 1920: 383. [↩]
- E.R., ‘Wasted Talent,’ rev. of The Messenger, Daily Chronicle 26 Apr 1923: 4; rev. of The Messenger, Truth 3 Dec 1919. [↩]