> Easy to hand, the review URL posted by Raphael the
> weekend after Christmas (I remember because, out of town, I was able to
> read it but not to respond) gave an indication of the book's weakness.
The URL was:
(you may have to do a cut-and-paste job instead on simply clcking on the
link: the address looks too long for this mail's format)
The review was by Eric Griffiths. I give some of his comments below - they
were enough to convince me that Painted Shadow wasn't worth wasting my time
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She supposes Eliot was "jealous" of Katherine Mansfield's success; when you
turn to the footnotes for evidence, you find only that " Virginia Woolf
confessed: "I was jealous of her writing". It is said that Eliot "roundly
condemned" his wife's "immorality"; there is no quotation to support this
anywhere in the book. Seymour-Jones does find "withering scorn" in the
depiction of a character she imagines is based on Vivien in Eliot's story,
Eeldrop and Appleplex, but her reason for supposing Vivien to be Eliot's
target is that the character longs "to burn ever with a hard gem-like flame"
and these words "bear a striking resemblance" to something Vivien wrote.
They bear an even more striking resemblance to the celebrated conclusion of
Pater's The Renaissance, which Eliot is quoting and making fun of, and which
Vivien had probably read, though her biographer hasn't.
Painted Shadow is often assisted to lurid hypotheses by ignorance. One of
the reasons given for thinking Eliot was gay is that he often quoted from
Saint John of the Cross, whom Seymour-Jones mistakes, despite the 1,500
years between them, for Saint John "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (and of
course we all know what that means).