Friends from boyhood, English poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) and James Strachey, who was to become the primary English translator of the works of Sigmund Freud, were at Cambridge when they fell in love. This collection of their rich and varied letters--often irreverent, sometimes humorous, always disturbingly honest--illuminates one of the last ...
Friends from boyhood, English poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) and James Strachey, who was to become the primary English translator of the works of Sigmund Freud, were at Cambridge when they fell in love. This collection of their rich and varied letters--often irreverent, sometimes humorous, always disturbingly honest--illuminates one of the last pieces of the complex puzzle of Brooke's life. 24 illustrations.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-10-12 Hale, a professor of English at the University of Guam, assembles here a long overdue compilation of the correspondence between two Bloomsbury figures: the poet and WWI martyr Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, brother of the more famous writer Lytton but important on his own as Freud's main English translator. As a Cambridge undergraduate, James Strachey fell in love (unrequited) with the golden Brooke. Their letters sometimes discuss aspects of homosexuality, which kept them unpublished for many decades. Now they seem tame, and indeed, the collection may be appearing too late; few take Brooke very seriously as a poet anymore, and many readers may be sated by the glut of books about the Bloomsbury set. In addition, neither man was a born letter writer. Still, the letters provide an essential and frank documentation of the Cambridge goings-on of a powerful generation of intellectuals and artists, including Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey. As anyone who has waded through the numerous lives of these people knows, among them categories of sexual desire and conduct could be rather free-flowing and difficult to define. Brooke, despite enjoying a number of girlfriends, also nursed romantic passions for male schoolfellows; he wrote to a lady friend, "Do you understand about loving people of the same sex?... Of course most sensible people would permit." Until now, none of his editors would permit it, so readers owe thanks to Hale for his labors in compiling and thoroughly annotating this correspondence. (Nov.)
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