Margaret Storm Jameson: A Life

Margaret Storm Jameson: A Life

by Jennifer Birkett
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199558205

ISBN-13: 9780199558209

Pub. Date: 05/15/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press

From her childhood in Whitby to her long old age in Cambridge, the life of Margaret Storm Jameson (1891-1986), novelist, autobiographer, and political activist, spanned almost the whole of the twentieth century. A self-styled Little Englander by nature, and European by nurture, equally at home, or out of place, in the North Yorkshire moors and seascape of her birth

…  See more details below

Overview

From her childhood in Whitby to her long old age in Cambridge, the life of Margaret Storm Jameson (1891-1986), novelist, autobiographer, and political activist, spanned almost the whole of the twentieth century. A self-styled Little Englander by nature, and European by nurture, equally at home, or out of place, in the North Yorkshire moors and seascape of her birth, metropolitan London, rural France, and the capitals of Central Europe, she wrote of country, cities and the exile from both with equal knowledge and sympathy. Out of the changing landscapes of her present, she fashioned her vision of the future. The title of her autobiography, Journey from the North, is a simultaneous evocation and erasure of nostalgia for lost commonality, and in her long life as writer and activist, President of wartime PEN (the association of Poets, Essayist, Novelists) committed to the values of freedom and social justice, she fought to reconcile the conflicting forms of emergent modernity. Her own journey is the generic experience of twentieth-century Britain, and the England she urges on her contemporaries is one that shares the life and mind of Europe. The present book traces the history of that shared experience. It recovers, through her writing, the aspirations and the disappointments of the generation of socialists that was Class 1914. The soldiers returning from the front in 1918, to unemployment and the General Strike of 1926, fight in 1940 alongside Frenchmen, and against Germans, who are victims of the same system: class conflict, nationalist rivalries, imperialist ambition, all for Jameson have the same defining economic horizon. At the end of the odyssey the stark alternatives take shape: Washington or Moscow, the madness of American capitalism, or the oppression of Stalinist Communism.

Alongside the narrative of Jameson's life, and the experiences as daughter, wife, and mother that shaped her personality and her career, the book explores her concern with issues of culture and society, cultural memory, and cultural landscapes, her fascination with aesthetic form and the relation of writing to politics, her insight into the materiality of words, and her persistent probing of the nature of the writing subject. It draws on unpublished archive material and brings new research on neglected areas of cultural history into conjunction with literary-critical analyses of Jameson's novels and studies of her journalism and essays. There is an extensive Bibliography of her work.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199558209
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/15/2009
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Abbreviations

Introduction Writing and Politics: Life Lived at the Double 1

Introduction Writing the Landscape: Culture and Identity 5

Introduction Writing Herself: The Woman and the Masks 9

Pt. I The Little Englander

1 A Yorkshire Childhood 17

2 The Student in the North 34

3 London 1912-1918 45

4 London 1919-1924 59

5 London 1924-1928: Publishing, Passion and Politics 76

6 London 1928-Yorkshire 1931: 'Trying to be Superwoman' 96

Pt. II Socialism and Internationalism: the English Road to Europe

7 London 1932-1934: New People, New Politics 111

8 London 1934-1936: Expanding Horizons 126

9 Fiction and Form 139

10 1936-1938: Waking up to War 152

11 1938-1940: Crossing the Rubicon 166

Pt. III Europe At War

12 1940: Vile Betrayals 185

13 1941: Fighting with the French 202

14 1941-1943: Holding On 215

15 Fortifying the Nation: Narrative, Memory, and Culture 234

16 1943-1945: Struggling to the End 249

Pt. IV Going Home

17 1945-1949: Clearing Up 267

18 1949-1953: A European Future 284

19 1953-1959: Understand ing Exile 300

20 1960-1968: Letting Go and Settling Up 317

21 Final Recall 331

Notes 348

Select Bibliography 408

Index 425

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >