“Here’s a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal”
When Michael Fraenkel retired as a business man— “and what’s even worse, a successful one!”—in 1926, he set down on paper his reflections on business life as he saw the picture at that time. Since then he has devoted himself to literature, writing poetry, literary criticism, and essays. His remarkable study, based on letters new to English readers, of Paul Gauguin was published in the January, 1928, Virginia Quarterly. “America and Business” presents the matured considerations of a later and detached point of view. “The paper,” Mr. Fraenkel writes, “is the result of about two years of reflection on the essential nature and significance of American Civilization, with an almost equal background in travel in Europe and Africa. No doubt the contrast between Eastern and Western civilization helped me to visualize more clearly the meaning of our own, for in a vital sense America may be regarded as the last word in Western civilization.” The paper was written in La Marsa, Northern Africa, and is one of a series which Mr. Fraenkel plans on significant aspects of American life.
While exploring the archives of the State Department and the Library of Congress, Emily Stone Whiteley (Mrs. James Gustavas Whiteley) made intimate acquaintance Avith the engaging personality of one Christopher Hughes, “wit and diplomatist,” who appears “Between the Acts at Ghent.” Mrs. Whiteley’s skill in putting on dramatic episodes out of forgotten history was illustrated in her centennial article on George Canning in an earlier number of this Quarterly. She has entered between the covers of many magazines, and a list of her foreign decorations was given in The Green-Room in January, 1928. Her home is Baltimore.
There is a proverb about angels and fools that reminds us that the fools furnish most of the fun to the onlookers.
“Breaking the Solid South” is acknowledged by its author to suggest the legend of foolhardiness. It is an attempt to make a survey of the presidential campaign in the Southern states, immediately after the voting, in a judicial and dispassionate spirit. The article was accepted by three of the staff of the Quarterly when it was submitted anonymously. It represents solely the ideas and opinions of the writer who signs it. It is not an editorial nor are the other editors of The Virginia Quarterly, either those who have read it or those who have not, responsible for the views expressed.
Andre Maurois has called Julien Green “the best of his generation.” His two novels, “Mont-Cinere” and “Adrienne Mesurat,” published in America under the titles “Avarice House” and “The Closed Garden;” produced a sensation in France and have been considered in English translations novels of stark realistic power. Mr. Green is a French-born son of American parents. Still a very young man, he was a recent student at the University of Virginia. His paper on the Brontes, with slight omissions from the original French form in which Mr. Green wrote it, has especial interest because his own work has been so often likened to that of Emily Bronte.
“Elephants Through the Country” is a story that will reveal the distinguished American novelist, Mary Johnston, in a new light to those who know her work only through her earlier romantic novels, “Prisoners of Hope” and “To Have and to Hold.” Miss Johnston lives at her country home, Three Hills, near Warm Springs, Virginia.
Two of the poets of this issue are Southern born. Francis Claiborne Mason, a graduate of the University of Virginia and formerly of Norfolk, is a member of the English faculty of Gettysburg College. His first volume, “This Unchanging Mask,” has just been published by the Yale Press in the Younger Poets series. He has also a review in this number. John Gould Fletcher, whose “Black Rock and Other Poems,” on the fall list, adds another to his notable volumes, has long made his home in London. He is a native of Arkansas. Babette Deutsch has contributed poetry, frequently to this Review. Her home is in New York. Witter Bynner has also appeared in the Virginia Quarterly before. A native of New York, he now lives in New Mexico. A long list of publications has made his name familiar to most readers of poetry and drama. “Caravan,” poems, and “Cake,” a play, are among his recent books.
Eva Phillips Boyd (Mrs. Herbert D. Boyd) is the wife of a Boston physician. She has studied at Boston University and at Wellesley, where she received her Master of Arts degree. Residence at Oxford led to the writing of “Oxford to Wantage.”
Modem of moderns, D. H. Lawrence, of England and everywhere, has published novels, poetry, essays, and criticism in virile succession. “Sons and Lovers,” “Women in Love,” and “The Plumed Serpent” are familiar titles in America. “The Bogey Between the Generations” is interesting as a plea for greater frankness by one of the most daring writers of what, to old-fashioned people, must seem the frankest generation in English literary history.
In April, 1927, Broadus Mitchell’s “Fleshpots in the South,” in The Virginia Quarterly, stirred up a discussion, echoes of which still rumble. “Some Southern Industrialists” gives the historical background of the industrialized South which was portrayed in the first paper. Mr. Mitchell, professor in political economy at The Johns Hopkins University, is a Virginian. His “William Gregg: Factory Master of the Old South” is on the autumn list of the University of North Carolina Press.
The reviewers of this number have all written before for The Virginia Quarterly. Edward Wagenknecht is of the department of English, University of Washington, Seattle. After his pursuit of Dickens through the libraries of the East this summer, he was knocked down by an automobile in Chicago. Since then he has completed a book on Charles Dickens, which is ready for publication. Archibald Henderson, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, biographer of “G. B. S.” and critic of modern drama, is completing two new books, one of which is the story of the pioneers who explored the West. Dumas Malone, professor of history in the University of Virginia and biographer of Thomas Cooper, is author of the article “A Challenge to Patriots,” in the October number. It attracted wide attention and took its place among the long list of articles which have been selected from The Virginia Quarterly by. a council of librarians as among the “ten outstanding magazine articles of the month.” Gerald W. Johnson is editorial writer for the Baltimore Evening Sun and author of several books, including a life of Andrew Jackson. He is a native of North Carolina where formerly he was a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina, after leaving the staff of the Greensboro News. Dr. Philip Alexander Bruce, author of many, of the standard firsthand studies in American history, including “Economic History of Virginia in the 17th Century,” “Rise of the New South,” “Institutional History of Virginia in the 17th Century,” and a life of General Lee, has recently completed a new book to be called “The Virginia Plutarch.” “Stuffed Peacocks” is the book which last season made the name of Emily Clark (Mrs. Balch of Philadelphia and New York) familiar to fiction readers. As Miss Emily Clark of Richmond, Virginia, she was one of the editors, while it flourished, of “The Reviewer.” Raymond Turner reviewed for the Virginia Quarterly in July, 1926, the first two volumes of Professor Seymour’s narrative, “The Intimate Papers of Colonel House.” In this number he discusses the third and fourth volumes, which have just been published. In the October, 1926, number, his paper, “Locarno,” was printed, and in July, 1927, his “The New British Empire.” He is the author of “Ireland and England.” Mr. Turner was formerly professor of European history at the University of Michigan and is now professor in The Johns Hopkins University.