Entry updated 21 May 2019. Tagged: Author.
Pseudonym of UK journalist and author Cicily Isabel Fairfield Andrews (1892-1983), H G Wells's partner 1913-1923; she also wrote as by Lynx. She began to publish her astute and polemical nonfiction around 1911; her first novel, The Return of the Soldier (1918), which stretches its nonfantastic mode to the limit, stands as a very early response to the profound trauma of World War One. The soldier, who is a victim of shell shock, manifests his deep disorder through Amnesia, and remembers nothing of the previous fifteen years: mentally he remains in an Edwardian summer. West is of sf interest for her third novel, Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy (1929), whose protagonist's power of Telepathy renders her intolerable to her self-serving aspirational lover; the tale climaxes as a Posthumous Fantasy [for this term, and for a different take on Rebecca West, see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Modern "Rake's Progress" (1934), written to extensive illustrations by David Low (1891-1963), is contemporary Satire, with small touches of the fantastic.
The sharp critical anatomies assembled as Lions and Lambs (coll 1928) as by Lynx, again illustrated by David Low, target a wide range of figures, including Hilaire Belloc, Lord Birkenhead, G K Chesterton, Winston Churchill, Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw, H G Wells. West's nonfiction tends in general not to focus on the fantastic, though The Court and the Castle: Some Treatments of a Recurring Theme (1957) deals in part with Franz Kafka. Rebecca West was appointed CBE in 1949 and DBE in 1959. [JC]
Cicily [born Cecily] Isabel Fairfield Andrews
born London: 21 December 1892
died London: 15 March 1983
works (highly selected)
- The Return of the Soldier (New York: The Century Company, 1918) [illus/hb/Norman Price]
- Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1929) [hb/Rex Whistler]
- The Modern "Rake's Progress" (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1934) [illus/hb/David Low]
- Lions and Lambs (London: Jonathan Cape, 1928) as by Lynx [nonfiction: coll: ills/hb/David Low]
- The Court and the Castle: Some Treatments of a Recurring Theme (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1957) [nonfiction: hb/]
- Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- The Encyclopedia of Fantasy: Posthumous Fantasy; Rebecca West.
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