May Sinclair was a central figure in the modernist movement, whose contribution has long been underacknowledged. A woman of both modern and Victorian impulses, a popular novelist who also embraced modernist narrative techniques, Sinclair embodied the contradictions of her era. The contributors to this collection, the first on Sinclair's career and writings, examine these contradictions, tracing their evolution over the span of Sinclair's professional life as they provide insights into Sinclair's complex and enigmatic texts. In doing so, they engage with the cultural and literary phenomena Sinclair herself critiqued and influenced: the evolving literary marketplace, changing sexual and social mores, developments in the fields of psychology, the women's suffrage movement, and World War I. Sinclair not only had her finger on the pulse of the intellectual and social challenges of her time, but also she was connected through her writing with authors located in diverse regions of literary modernism's social web, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, Charlotte Mew, and Dorothy Richardson. The volume is a crucial contribution to our understanding of the political, social, and literary currents of the modernist period.
'This balanced and meticulously researched collection allows us to appreciate the wide range of social causes and literary forms embraced by May Sinclair. Her marginality as a modernist is challenged here in ways that test the boundaries and limits of modernism, while respecting her as one of its most dedicated and creative networkers.' Bonnie Kime Scott, San Diego State University, USA ’… a valuable addition to the libraries of those who study modernist culture.’ Sharp ’The collection overall provides a useful and thorough introduction to May Sinclair's writing and its contexts… It should certainly have a place on any reading list for the cultural politics of the period.’ Women: a Cultural Review
Contents: Introduction, Michele K. Troy and Andrew J. Kunka. Part 1 May Sinclair and Literary Modernism: A very 'un-English' English writer: May Sinclair's early reception in Europe, Michele K. Troy; 'A sort of genius': love, art, and classicism in May Sinclair's The Divine Fire, Diana Wallace; Miss Sinclair and the priest of love, Jane Eldridge Miller; Unresolved mourning and the Great War in May Sinclair's The Tree of Heaven and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, George M. Johnson; 'Imagism … is a state of soul': May Sinclair's imagist writing and Life and Death of Harriett Frean, Laurel Forster; May Sinclair's supernatural fiction, Richard Bleiler; The Dark Night: 'the novel into some other form', Jane Dowson. Part 2 May Sinclair and the Modern World: May Sinclair and the BrontÃ«s: 'virgin priestesses of art', Jane Silvey; The 'genius of enfranchised womanhood': suffrage and The Three BrontÃ«s, Philippa Martindale; 'Physiological emergencies' and 'suffragitis': Miss May Sinclair, writer, versus Sir Almroth Wright, MD, FRS, Diane F. Gillespie; Mary Olivier: new women and Victorian values, Cheryl A. Wilson; 'He isn't quite an ordinary coward': gender, cowardice, and shell shock in The Romantic and Anne Severn and the Fieldings, Andrew J. Kunka. Index.