Francis Booth

Lolly Willowes; or The Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Lolly Willowes; or The Loving Huntsman was the first novel by modernist author Sylvia Townsend Warner. Published in 1926, it’s now considered an early feminist classic. 

Considered comedy of manners, this novel is steeped in social satire. This collection of reviews was gathered in High Collars & Monocles: 1920s Novels by British Female Couples by Francis Booth, © 2020. Reprinted by Permission.

Following is a synopsis and two reviews from 1926, when the book was originally published. A more recent look back at Lolly Willows in the Guardian lauds it as a social satire and “an elegantly enchanting tale that transcends its era.” Read More→


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“Rosefrail and Fair” — Lucia Joyce, Dancer Daughter of James Joyce

This introduction to the life of Lucia Joyce, a professional dancer and the talented, troubled daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle is excerpted from Everybody I Can Think of Ever: Meetings That Made the Avant-Garde  by Francis Booth, reprinted by permission.

Sylvia Beach, publisher of Ulysses, wrote in Shakespeare and Company about James Joyce’s family:

“I was very fond of them all: Giorgio, with his gruffness, hiding or trying to hide his feelings; Lucia, the humorous one – neither of them happy in the strange circumstances in which they grow up; and Nora, the wife and mother, who scolded them all, including her husband, for their shiftlessness.” Read More→


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“Wilder, Eve” – Else Lasker–Schüler’s Vision of Woman in Eden

Along with Nelly Sachs and Paul Celan, Else Lasker-Schüler (1869 – 1945) was one of the most important German-Jewish poets of the twentieth century. And along with August Stramm and Georg Trakl, she was one of the most important early German expressionist poets.

This look at one of her best-known works is adapted from the forthcoming Wilder, Eve, Some Early Poems of Else Lasker-Schüler, translated by Francis Booth. Reprinted by permission.

Born Elizabeth Schüler into a middle-class banking family in what is now Wuppertal, Germany in 1869, she began writing poetry very early, imagining herself as a child living in the Orient, a fantasy that persisted throughout her life. Read More→


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Elizabeth X, or The Secret of Elizabeth by Vera Caspary

Prolific American author Vera Caspary’s last published novel, Elizabeth X, was released first in the U.K. in 1978, the year before her autobiography, The Secrets of Grown-ups. It was reissued in the U.S. the following year as The Secret of Elizabeth.

This analysis of Elizabeth X, or The Secret of Elizabeth by Vera Caspary is excerpted from A Girl Named Vera Can Never Tell a Lie: The Fiction of Vera Caspary by Francis Booth ©2022. Reprinted by permission. Read More→


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Vera Caspary’s The Man Who Loved his Wife (& Other Diary-Driven Fiction)

“The trouble with being the author of one of the all-time classics of suspense is that people keep expecting you to be that good again; and I suppose I must regretfully say that Vera Caspary’s The Man Who Loved His Wife is no Laura,” began Anthony Boucher’s February 20, 1966 review in the New York Times.

“But it is an intelligent and largely persuasive novel of a laryngectomy subject with a powerful death wish,” continued Boucher’s review, “ and was it himself or one of his family that fulfilled the desire?

I suspect that Mrs. Caspary has cast as a whodunit a story that could have been more effective without the puzzle element; but it still is well worth one’s attention – especially for her unflagging skill in creating unpleasant people.” Read More→


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