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Having picked up her name a couple of times in the past week from different sources I took F.M. Mayor's rather twee sounding 'The Rector's Daughter' out of the library this afternoon. It seems she's one of those lost classic types, if Susan Hill, in her introduction to this Penguin Classic is to be believed. Mayor was originally published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press. I'm still reading Tristram Hunt's biog of Engels - which has had quite a few reviews this past week. Yet this week's Guardian Review was awash with the reviews of paperbacks of whose hardbacks they had already more than amply covered. It's my old complaint of the usual groups of novels getting ample review space first in hardback then in paperback, thus giving them two very large bites of the cherry, which doesn't make for a very democratic critical coverage system, nor, in fact, for a very interesting literary section - after all, what regular reader wants to read of one set of novels a few months before having to read all about them all over again? It's nonsense. I have kind of put The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig to one side too. Elaine Showalter's new book also looks like a great endeavour - the Review did have a good piece on it today, and it's quite astonishing that no-one had undertaken the task of listing the 'great' American women writers over the past few centuries before. We need a British version now. Anyway, not sure when my next post will be - I've still to edit the Duty Bound novel - it needs a structure revision - a good few weeks work - as well as co-writing this 'mega-blockbuster film in the making'. Busy, busy, busy. There should also be time for walks though - and I've had a couple this week, as well as a couple of swims to clear away the writerly cobwebs.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

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