Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939 (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 26, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 343 pages
20 Reviews
Katie Roiphe’s stimulating work has made her one of the most talked about cultural critics of her generation. Now this bracing young writer delves deeply into one of the most layered of subjects: marriage. Drawn in part from the private memoirs, personal correspondence, and long-forgotten journals of the British literary community from 1910 to the Second World War, here are seven “marriages à la mode”—each rising to the challenge of intimate relations in more or less creative ways. Jane Wells, the wife of H.G., remained his rock, despite his decade-long relationship with Rebecca West (among others). Katherine Mansfield had an irresponsible, childlike romance with her husband, John Middleton Murry, that collapsed under the strain of real-life problems. Vera Brittain and George Gordon Catlin spent years in a “semidetached” marriage (he in America, she in England). Vanessa Bell maintained a complicated harmony with the painter Duncan Grant, whom she loved, and her husband, Clive. And her sister Virginia Woolf, herself no stranger to marital particularities, sustained a brilliant running commentary on the most intimate details of those around her.

Every chapter revolves around a crisis that occurred in each of these marriages—as serious as life-threatening illness or as seemingly innocuous as a slightly tipsy dinner table conversation—and how it was resolved…or not resolved. In these portraits, Roiphe brilliantly evokes what are, as she says, “the fluctuations and shifts in attraction, the mysteries of lasting affection, the endurance and changes in love, and the role of friendship in marriage.” The deeper mysteries at stake in all relationships.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Review: Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages

User Review  - Jenny Brennan - Goodreads

Regardless of what you think about her politics, Katie Roiphe can be respected for her tendency to draw bold conclusions and stick by them. She is a masterful writer. I'm really in awe of how she ... Read full review

Review: Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939

User Review  - Faith McLellan - Goodreads

More than slightly mind-boggling. The intricate connections among the people/marriages profiled here! A work of enormous scholarship, but lightly worn. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Read full review

Contents

TITLE PAGE
H G Jane Wells
Radclyffe Hall Una Troubridge
POSTSCRIPT
PERMISSIONS
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Katie Roiphe received her Ph.D. from Princeton in English literature. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, Esquire, Vogue, Harper’s, and the New Yorker. Her previous books include The Morning After, Last Night in Paradise, and a novel, Still She Haunts Me. She lives in New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

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