Selected Letters of Leslie Stephen: Volume 1: 1864-1882
John W. Bicknell
Springer, Sep 18, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 284 pages
Since F.W. Maitland's Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen (1907), there has been no volume of the letters written by this extraordinary and eminent Victorian. Alpinist, literary critic, god-killer, editor of The Cornhill Magazine and The Dictionary of National Biography, biographer, historian of ideas, and father of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, Stephen corresponded with a host of men and women, including such notables as his American friends - James Russell Lowell, Justice Holmes and art historian Charles E. Norton; such contemporaries among the intelligentsia as John Morley, Henry Sidgwick, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, F.W. Maitland, and Thomas Hardy; and the members of his family - Minny, his first wife; his sister-in-law, Anny Ritchie; his son Thoby; and his best beloved second wife, Julia. In his letters, always readable, we find his enthusiasms, his ironic humour, his self-doubt and self-pity, his anguish over his retarded child Laura, his candour, his lively portraits of people and places, his delight in the young - Nessa, Ginia and Thoby, and his direct and easy style as he responds to his reader's interests and needs. This second volume follws the demanding years Stephen spent as Editor of The Dictionary of National Biography, his happy life with Julia until her death in 1895 and his continuing devotion to literature, a source of much solace in his last years.
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