Rose Macaulay

Standard Name: Macaulay, Rose
Birth Name: Emilie Rose Macaulay
RM was highly prolific, publishing during the earlier half of the twentieth century twenty-three novels and two volumes of poetry, as well as three books of short stories, several historical and travel narratives, and works of literary criticism. Several volumes of her personal letters have been printed. She made many appearances on the BBC and published scores of articles. Valued perhaps chiefly for its satire and wit, her writing shows impressive political complexity and understanding, and her skill at characterisation is noteworthy. In her early works one may feel that her satire is defensive: that she uses mockery to hold off painful involvement. Her treatment of religious issues and characters demonstrates her long struggle with and engagement in established religion. She continually pokes fun at people heavily invested in causes or movements; but the choice of a cause is one of her favourite topics, sometimes handled with poignancy rather than burlesque.
Photograph of a roughly drawn sketch of Rose Macaulay, depicted from the shoulders up. She is wearing a simple dress and her hair is cut short.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Literary responses Rumer Godden
One reviewer wrote, [t]here is not enough meat on this book for the library cat,
Chisholm, Anne. Rumer Godden, A Storyteller’s Life. Pan Books, 1999.
but Una Pope Hennessy and Rose Macaulay told RG that it ought to have won the Hawthornden Prize.
Chisholm, Anne. Rumer Godden, A Storyteller’s Life. Pan Books, 1999.
Literary responses Radclyffe Hall
A number of writers rallied in support of RH . E. M. Forster and Leonard Woolf drafted a letter protesting the suppression of The Well of Loneliness. Its signatories included Bernard Shaw , T. S. Eliot
Literary responses Stella Benson
Forty-six years after Benson's death, Naomi Mitchison acknowledged that her work had ceased being read, that her fantasy was misunderstood as whimsy. She felt, however, that in 1979 a revival was due.
Mitchison, Naomi. You May Well Ask: A Memoir 1920-1940. Gollancz, 1979.
It is...
Literary responses Nina Hamnett
The first Times reviewer of her exhibition at the Claridge Gallery in Brook Street, London in 1926 wrote that her art resembled Rose Macaulay 's writing in showing no illusions and but few prejudices, and...
Literary responses Katherine Mansfield
After Mansfield's death, Woolf wrote in her diary: it seemed to me there was no point in writing. Katherine won't read it.
Gunn, Kirsty. “How the Laundry Basket Squeaked”. London Review of Books, No. 7, pp. 25 - 6.
KM appears in episodes in more than one novel by her friend...
Literary responses Katharine Tynan
After Flower of Youth first appeared in The Spectator, KT began receiving letters from mourners. In 1919 she wrote, I believe I have written better poems of the War, or as good, but nothing...
Literary responses Helen Waddell
This book too brought many letters of praise: from Rose Macaulay , Æ , Walter de la Mare , and Stanley Baldwin .
Blackett, Monica. The Mark of the Maker: A Portrait of Helen Waddell. Constable, 1973.
Literary responses Mary Wesley
Early praise for MW 's work came from such different writers as Marghanita Laski and Susan Hill . Other commentators likened her work to that of Rose Macaulay , Elizabeth Bowen , Barbara Pym ...
Literary responses Elizabeth Jenkins
The novel was criticised by some for its exclusively upper-middle-class reach—a view which was energetically countered by Rose Macaulay on a radio programme.
Jenkins, Elizabeth. The View from Downshire Hill. Michael Johnson, 2004.
The Times Literary Supplement welcomed with joy a novel where the...
Literary responses Ethel Sidgwick
ES 's interest in the interaction of different national cultures, and in the issue of what it means to be English, caused some commentators to liken her to Henry James . R. Brimley Johnson in...
Literary responses Ivy Compton-Burnett
Of this novel ICB wrote, I have never had such superficial reviews.
Spurling, Hilary. Secrets of a Woman’s Heart. Hodder and Stoughton, 1984.
They did, however, praise the book, especially in the case of reviewers who were also novelists, like Elizabeth Bowen , Pamela Hansford Johnson
Occupation Margaret Haig, Viscountess Rhondda
Women contributors ranged widely: Rebecca West , Stella Benson , Cicely Hamilton , Members of Parliament Lady Nancy Astor and Ellen Wilkinson , Virginia Woolf , Naomi Mitchison , E. M. Delafield , Rose Macaulay
politics Marie Belloc Lowndes
The letter challenged a recent antisuffragist manifesto, and stressed three points from Prime Minister Asquith 's statement to suffragists of 14 August. The points were that women had rendered as effective service to their country...
politics Phyllis Bottome
After the war, PB continued to be politically active, often writing letters to the editor of the Times on subjects like liberalism and human rights in South Africa. In the issue dated 14 December 1951...
politics Storm Jameson
Guests included Rebecca West and Rose Macaulay . This event led to the publication of the anthology Challenge to Death: A Symposium on War and Peace (1934)


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