Dearest Jean

Rose Macaulay’s letters to a cousin

By Martin Ferguson Smith

Dearest Jean


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2300-8
  • Pages: 360
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: August 2017
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Letters, Literature, Literature: history & criticism, Diaries, letters & journals, Biography & True Stories / Diaries, letters & journals


These lively and candid letters from Rose Macaulay to her first cousin Jean Smith are previously unknown. Macaulay was one of the most versatile, successful, and significant writers in the first half of the twentieth century, Smith a talented but diffident and depressive poet who was briefly an Anglican nun before converting to Roman Catholicism. The letters throw fascinating and often amusing light not only on the writer's private life, unconventional character, and varied career, but also on the lively literary and social circles in which she moved. They are essential reading for all interested in British literary culture and women's writing.


'A valuable addition to our knowledge of Macaulay.'
The Times Literary Supplement

'Sparkles with wit . highly recommended.'
English Studies

'Superbly edited.'
The Tablet

'These "new" letters . illuminate the writer's life and career, and the literary and social scene, especially in the years that followed the First World War.'
Sir Simon Jenkins

'Offers fascinating insights into the 20th-century cultural scene.'

'Full of previously buried treasure.'
A.N. Wilson

'Wonderfully expansive notes . decorate the letters like illuminated miniatures.'
Church Times


Martin Ferguson Smith is Emeritus Professor of Classics at Durham University


List Of Illustrations
Editor's Preface
Editor's Preface to the Paperback Edition
I. Rose Macaulay: The First Half Of Her Life
1. The Daughter Who Was Not A Boy. (1881-1894)
2. Growing Wings. (1894-1903)
3. The Valley Captive. (1903-1906)
4. The Secret River. (1906-1914)
5. War And Love. (1914-1919)
II. Jean Smith
1. The Consul's Daughter. (1891-1911)
2. Cambridge. (1911-1915)
3. Munitions And Sugar. (1916-1919)
4. Helicon And The Isis. (1919-1926)
5. Canterbury Or Rome? (1926-1938)
6. War, Duty, And Darkness. (1939-1960)
7. "Lead, Kindly Light". (1961-1979)
The Letters
I. Rose Macaulay's Birth And First Weeks
II. "Ash Wednesday 1941"
I. Works By Rose Macaulay
II. Books About Rose Macaulay
Key To First Names
Family Trees
I. The Family Of Rose Macaulay
II. The Family Of Jean Smith

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