Rosamond Lehmann’s first book, Dusty Answer (1927), with its scandalous subject matter, made her a literary celebrity at the age of twenty-seven. Seen as the voice of a new generation, she became the centre of an artistic circle that included W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Elizabeth Bowen. Lehmann’s novels deal with the urgency of romance and the vicissitudes of young women in love, and depict the emotional rollercoaster of romance and the tortuous process of growing up more directly than any writer before her. This book locates Lehmann’s fictional achievement in the context of her times and in particular describes its positioning within the turbulent period between two world wars and the changing aesthetic of modernity. It includes a penetrating critical analysis of each of the major works, drawing on previously unpublished private papers, including letters to family and friends. In this it provides fresh and original insights into one of the most celebrated English novelists of her age.
Judy Simons is Emeritus Professor of English at De Montfort University, where she was Pro Vice Chancellor. She has written widely on women writers and on genres as varied as children’s literature and life-writing.
216 × 138 mm
January 1, 2004
Writers and their Work