Books February 2020
A review of The Lost Girls: Love and Literature in Wartime London by D. J. Taylor.
A book’s index can entertain as well as inform, and in D. J. Taylor’s Lost Girls, a lively, perceptive, and gossip-strewn inquiry into an overlooked aspect of an influential corner of London’s literary life in, mainly, the 1940s, the index does not disappoint. Turning from “Horizon, ‘bugger incident,’ ” to the entries for that storied magazine’s creator and presiding genius, “Connolly, Cyril,” we find, among other accolades, “capriciousness,” “dilettante quality,” “double standards and hypocrisy,” “mother-fixation,” “self-absorption,” “self-destructiveness,” “self-propagating mystique,” “sulkiness,” “tactlessness,” and, in a final jab of the indexer’s finger, “vacillation and...
New to The New Criterion?
Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.Subscribe