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Q. D. Leavis entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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In her 'socio-anthropological' critical monographs and essays, Q. D. Leavis evaluates literature by examining it in the context of the culture from which it emerges. She focuses on intellectual, social, and moral elements of literary work, and she insists on a rigorous standard of judgement for works by well-known, as well as by unknown, writers. Her reviews and evaluations of contemporary writers could be sharply aggressive or just ferocious, as in the case of Virginia Woolf. Some of her influence derived from her status as the wife of Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis, but Q. D. Leavis was a power in her own right. Although she inhabited the shadow of her husband in her early years, she also came to be a significant influence in the field of cultural studies and a well-defined voice in literary studies. By her own account, work by her often went into her husband's publications.
Milestones
7 December 1906 Queenie Dorothy Roth (later QDL) was born. Her parents were then settled at 79 Silver Street in Edmonton, North London. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1921 Queenie Roth (later QDL) achieved print at the age of fourteen with her story, "Christmas Presents". It was published in the Latymer School journal. Bibliographic Citation link.
April 1932 QDL published her first major work of literary criticism: Fiction and the Reading Public, a slightly revised version of her recent Cambridge dissertation, "Fiction and the Reading Public: A Study in Social Anthropology". Bibliographic Citation link.
2 September 1938 QDL published her most notorious review: her Scrutiny piece, "Caterpillars of the Commonwealth Unite!", on Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas. Bibliographic Citation link.
17 March 1981 QDL died in Cambridge at the age of eighty-one, of heart failure. Bibliographic Citation link.
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