Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Wren-like Note: IWCP piece

I'm very pleased to see that the Isle of Wight County Press, after a few months' delay, just ran a piece on A Wren-like Note: "Secret life of a Victorian novelist" (Richard Wright, IWCP, 11 Apr 2014, Weekender section, p7).

It's a very fair summary of the book; a biography that necessarily drew on Maxwell Gray's works as a window into her world, as she was highly reticent about her personal life.

I've already had some extremely interesting correspondence arising - of which possibly more later - and furthermore, decided to subscribe to the IWCP beta archive in connection with this and other research. The latter so far hasn't told me anything radically new about Maxwell Gray, but it's revealing a few characteristic snippets. 
"Why some pen-names were chosen" is the title of an interesting article in a recent number of Cassell's Saturday Journal ... Our distinguished Island novelist, "Maxwell Gray," says she does not know how she came to select her pen-name.
- Town and Country Notes, IWCP, 30 September, 1899 (reproduced as fair usage, Isle of Wight County Press Archive
This is a typically information-free answer from MG. I really can't tell if she was obfuscating, or she really just wasn't that in touch with her own thought-processes.

However, the archive revealed some nice details concerning identification of a couple of minor characters in MG novels. See Some characters tracked.

- Ray

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