Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy birthday, Rebecca West.

Writer and journalist Rebecca West, aka Cecily Fairfield, was born today in Ireland in 1892. Some of her major works include the World War I novel The Return of the Soldier (1918), the Yugoslavian history Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), the examination of World War II traitors The Meaning of Treason (1949), and the novel The Fountain Overflows (1956). She had one son, Anthony West, by H. G. Wells. She died in 1983.

Time magazine praised her "incandescence of mind" in 1947. For more on West, see Janet Montefiore's Men and Women Writers of the Thirties: The Dangerous Flood of History, which also includes W. H. Auden, Montefiore's father-in-law Claud Cockburn, Storm Jameson, George Orwell, and Jean Rhys. I am mentioned in an endnote for providing materials relating to the one-time friendship between Jameson and Vera Brittain (Brittain introduced West to her future husband, Henry Maxwell Andrews. Andrews was a school friend of George Catlin, Brittain's husband).

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