Beryl Bainbridge

BookBeryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge

Writers and Their Work


November 1st, 2015



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Beryl Bainbridge is one of Britain’s major post-war novelists. This study analyses Bainbridge’s work in relation to some of the pressing debates in post-war literary studies. It frames Bainbridge’s work within her life and times, describing her unique approach to fictionalising her own past and Britain’s more distant historical past. Topics covered include Bainbridge’s vexed relationship with feminism; her approach to comedy; her treatment of autobiography; her interest in myth-making and national tragedy; and her un-theorised yet subtly postmodernist views about history, fiction and memory. With generous reference to Bainbridge’s peers, her literary influences and those influenced by her work, Marsh identifies the major phases of Bainbridge’s career, contextualising each with material from Bainbridge’s journalism, essays interviews and unpublished papers. Suitable for all readers of Bainbridge’s novels and including suggestions for further reading, Marsh’s book combines awareness of recent literary criticism and theory with accessible, contextualised readings.

Author Information

Huw Marsh teaches at Queen Mary, University of London. His research interests lie mainly in the field of contemporary Anglophone literature.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Dedication 5
Biographical Outline8
Abbreviations and References11
Textual Note14
1 Early Noir: A Weekend with Claude, Another Part of the Wood, Harriet Said . . . , The Dressmaker and A Quiet Life21
2 Comedy and Society: The Bottle Factory Outing, Sweet William, Injury Time and Winter Garden43
3 History, Time and Intertextuality: Young Adolf, Watson’s Apology and An Awfully Big Adventure65
4 History and Mythology: The Birthday Boys, Every Man for Himself, Master Georgie and According to Queeney87
Conclusion: The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress111
Select Bibliography122