Charlotte Mitchell

His own short story

This is an academic monograph on Saki’s literary work, which does not pretend to add much to the work of his biographers, but summarises and quotes lavishly from the evidence available about his short and rather secret life. It begins with the miserable childhood and the odious aunts and ends with his death aged 44

A devotee of Devon

The regional novel in England sounds like a dull and worthy research topic; investigating it might be entertaining at times, but I suspect that one would just end by concluding that it existed once, and does so no more. People still write novels about life in various regions, of course; some writers still specialise in

Hacking a path through the jungle

Jonathan Bate, the general editor of this series, which replaces the Oxford History of English Literature, announces in a preface how exceptionally difficult it is to write literary history at all in modern times. As the slightly awkward new title of the series suggests, there is all that American, Scots, Welsh and Irish stuff now.