Q. D, Leavis: An Appreciation (with a select bibliography)


M. B. Kinch’s essay is reproduced here with the kind permission of The Brynmill Press. The essay was published as a pamphlet in 1982, and the literary scene has inevitably changed in the years that have passed since then. If Q. D. Leavis’s work has not had the measure of recognition that Kinch hoped it would gain, it is because literary criticism, as she and her husband understood and practised it, has been virtually extinct for some considerable time. Its displacement by literary theory was accomplished by the academic establishment in the decades after Kinch’s essay was written, opening the way for the emergence of a plethora of pseudo-subjects, deconstruction, postmodernism, post-colonialism, narratology, eco-criticism, gender studies, to name but a few, which have assiduously substituted wind, verbiage and jargon for the common pursuit of true judgement. The window onto Q. D. Leavis’s writings that Kinch’s essay offers is a reminder of what the profitable discussion of literature is really like.

One notable feature of the essay is the drastic critique of the mindless propaganda of radical feminism, and the victim culture it has fostered, by a woman of genuine intellectual distinction. It is in the form of extracts from Q, D. Leavis’s review of Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas, of which Kinch remarks that ‘its subject-matter has again become topical now that we are assailed at every turn by the vehement and humourless pronouncements of the feminists’. In a fine display of critical intelligence, Q. D. Leavis dismisses Virginia Woolf’s ‘chatty restatement’ of female victimhood as ‘an unpleasant self indulgence…and highly undesirable’; notes her appeal to emotion rather than reason and attempt ‘to make a weapon of feminine inconsequence’; and with consummate good sense, stipulates ‘that any piece of female writing advocating equality of opportunity for the sexes should prove its author…to be free from mere sex-hostility, to have an at least masculine sense of responsibility and that capacity for self-criticism which impresses us as a mark of the best kind of masculine mind’. This condemnation of bias and generous tribute to male strengths is in stark contrast to the self-righteous and rancorous efforts of contemporary feminism to degrade and demonize the opposite sex.

Kinch himself has some good things to say, as when he observes that literary criticism has failed to connect with ‘the ordinary reader’ because ‘it is written by academics primarily to further their careers, and has nothing important to communicate’. The incapacity of academics for real critical thought that sustains a reading public goes some way towards explaining the enthusiasm with which the advent of literary theory was received by them. Here at last was a mode of literary discourse that addressed itself exclusively to academics and made no concession to ‘the ordinary reader’ with his tiresome attachment to such obsolete values as sense and judgement. No wonder, then, that it proved irresistible in academic circles. Another pertinent observation of his is that Q. D. Leavis’s criticism ‘diagnoses with uncanny accuracy the early symptoms of certain undesirable cultural trends which later become only too obvious’. The force of this claim should be clear when Q. D. Leavis’s treatment of feminism is considered in the light of the subsequent development of the movement into one of the most powerful and divisive interest groups of our time.

It is to be hoped that the foregoing brief remarks will indicate why Kinch’s essay remains a document of contemporary relevance.

Richard Stotesbury.

M. B. Kinch

© The Brynmill Press

The death of Q.D. Leavis was a serious loss not merely to literary criticism but also to British culture generally: her writings were accessible and important to ordinary educated readers as well as to those professionally concerned with literature.

After recovering from the death of her husband in April 1978, Mrs Leavis embarked on an astonishing programme of writing, lecturing and seminar work – a programme which culminated in the remarkable lecture “The Englishness of the English Novel” delivered at the Cheltenham Festival in October 1980.[1] She had also previously agreed to prepare for publication by the Cambridge University Press a volume of her uncollected papers; but she was always more interested in writing new essays and lectures than in revising old ones, and it appears that although more than four years have elapsed since this publisher made the request, her literary executors have a good deal of work to do before the volume can be published. She was at any rate sufficiently interested in the project to have proposed an appropriate title for it, viz. Some Neglected Aspects of Nineteenth Century Fiction.[2]

One wonders whether the eventual publication of this volume will secure for Mrs Leavis’s work the acclaim it so richly deserves. As it is, while the classic status of Fiction and the Reading Public[3] is acknowledged, much of the later, more mature work, has been shamefully neglected. A perceptive chapter in William Walsh’s recent book on F. R. Leavis(4) is indeed the only comprehensive account of her writings known to me; and even this loses much of its impact by being part of a monograph on her husband.

Despite Mrs Leavis’s vital role as her husband’s collaborator in an unique partnership spanning nearly fifty years (a role which was never fully acknowledged[5]), she was always a superb literary and social critic in her own right, who managed during that period to produce a considerable quantity of independent work. It is therefore unjust, as well as condescending, when commentators on F. R. Leavis’s writings interpolate a few words of praise for his wife’s before resuming what they evidently consider to be a more important task.

The inadequate recognition accorded to Mrs Leavis’s work is no doubt due to her selfless subordination, during her husband’s lifetime, of her own interests to his. But it is also due to a lack of desire on her part for self-advancement: a less disinterested critic would have ensured that every few years her occasional writings were collected, revised and then published in volume form. (As the Times obituarist aptly said, “Her interests were concentrated upon literature and with complete single-mindedness and rare intensity.”[6]) In fact, most of her work is widely scattered in English and American journals and, as introductions, in reprints of works by nineteenth-century writers.

It is true that in addition to her substantial contributions to two relatively recent books which she published jointly with her husband (Lectures in America[7] and Dickens the Novelist[8]), a number of her more important essays were collected in A Selection from Scrutiny.[9] But here again their impact is reduced, this time by being part of a collection which was edited and partly written by her husband and which is consequently, despite the excellence of her contributions, associated mainly with him.

The main purpose of this essay is to draw attention to the range and quality of Mrs Leavis’s uncollected writings and, in doing so, to pay a small obituary tribute to a critic to whom at least one reader owes an immense debt of gratitude, both for enhancing his appreciation of familiar classics and for drawing his attention to many first-rate but unfamiliar books – e.g. Miss Marjoribanks, Helbeck of Bannisdal, Honey in the Horn. Accordingly, I propose to quote from and comment on a sample of these writings in order to demonstrate my conviction that, together with their author’s contributions to the two volumes mentioned earlier, they constitute as fine a body of criticism as any we have. Mrs Leavis’s freedom from false modesty, her exceptional acuity of perception, her intolerance of the second-rate and her insistence on the inseparability of literary and moral values are all, perhaps, fairly well known. However, other qualities which are just as prominent in her work seem to have gone largely unnoticed. I am thinking of her wide range of interests (European literature as well as English, children’s and folk literature as well as “art” literature, graphic art and cinema as well as literature): of her broad and generous sympathies (see, for instance, her comments on class distinctions and on the assumption commonly made by intellectuals that uncultivated people are necessarily uninteresting, in the extracts quoted below from her essays on Jeffreys and Virginia Woolf); and above all of her superb prose style – an instrument of exemplary vigour, wit and precision which I intend to illustrate throughout the remainder of this essay. If I succeed in prompting readers of the essay, whether or not they already know Mrs Leavis’s writings on the classic nineteenth-century novelists, to seek out some of the other work from which I propose to quote, then I shall have achieved my purpose.

I wish to make my sample of these writings as representative as possible, so I shall illustrate five distinct types of critical activity: the rehabilitation of a writer who has been neglected or underrated or both; the investigation and rejection of claims to classic status made for a writer whose neglect is shown to be fully justified; the discovery and celebration of a forgotten writer, whose best work is shown to be superior to many established classics; the immediate recognition of an individual work, since generally accepted as a modern classic, by a relatively unknown writer; and the uncompromising analysis and rejection of an inferior book by a distinguished contemporary writer.

As an example of the rehabilitation of a neglected (or at least an underrated) writer I shall take the essay on Richard Jefferies.[10 ]The following quotations illustrate not only that independence of judgement without which criticism is worthless, but also the social and moral preoccupations, the impatience of received opinions and the racy and witty prose style that characterize all Mrs Leavis’s writing. Moreover they show how “style” and “form” are seen, not as extraneous devices which in some way transform a writer’s rough drafts into works of art, but as personal solutions to problems of expression and presentation, which in so far as they are successful, are only artificially separable from his mode of perception and his view of life.

Why he has not got into the literary histories (Elton does not mention him, Saintsbury is fatuous, subsequent historians followed one or the other) and the university courses in literature is a mystery, but reason seems to have no hand in deciding these things. Yet as a source of evidence for ‘background’ courses he is surely more reliable as well as more original than the novelists, as an essayist he has surely more claims to be studied than all these Lambs and Paters, and as a novelist himself he cannot be ignored where Hardy is studied (except on quantitative grounds).[11]

His writing never reaches after effect and seems unconscious of achieving any; he is therefore the best possible model and for this reason alone should be in common possession, as Addison once was.[12]

When in Amaryllis at the Fair (another unfortunate title) he found a form that could convey all he was interested in treating without obliging him to satisfy the conventional demands on the novelist, he produced a masterpiece.[13]

Jeffreys hated the class distinctions which exacted servility from tenants and farm hands, kept a hold over the morals of the cottager and strangled his independence, and the fierce attacks on this aspect of rural life should make The Dewy Morn, his most considerable novel, a Left book. I have quoted a significant passage from Bevis, and even Wood Magic, a story book for little children, has every claim to be admitted to the socialist nursery.[14]

Starting as a member of the yeoman-farmer class with all its conservative prejudices and habits of social conformism he emancipated himself by nothing but the force of daily experience and sensitive reflection to a position of daring freedom from the ideas of his class, his age and his country…[15]

Jefferies is now a highly regarded writer whose works command high prices in the second-hand book market; but in 1938 he was little read, and there is not much doubt that Mrs Leavis’s essay did a great deal to rehabilitate him.

The avowed purpose of her later essay on the nineteenth century novelist Charlotte Yonge16, from which the next group of quotations is taken, was to prevent the undeserved rehabilitation of a hitherto all-but-forgotten writer. In this respect it does not seem to have been altogether successful: this writer’s books, too, are sought after by collectors (but perhaps they do not read them), and there is a generally favourable account of The Heir of Reddclyffe in Robert Liddell’s nevertheless admirable Treatise on the Novel.[17] However the following extracts should give some idea of the incisiveness of Mrs Leavis’s attack –

To see these novels taken at their own and the contemporary valuation we must turn to Theology and some recent related publications, where claims for this writer as a serious artist and a very valuable Christian novelist have been made. Evidently these ought to be investigated before the canon of English literature finds itself permanently burdened with one of the prolific fiction writers whom time alone has already expelled.[18]

Charlotte Yonge was a day-dreamer with a writing itch that compensated her for a particularly starved life…[She] had no medium at her command for conveying through literature such moral perceptions as she had, for unlike Bunyan she had no popularly inherited art of literary expression to draw on and the personal sensibility of the writer which creates its own artistic language she decidedly had not.[19]

As a moralist she is on a par with pulpit denouncers of short hair and slacks for women – that is, she couldn’t distinguish between social convention and morals of a less superficial quality, and having no sense of proportion she gave as much attention and censure to the former as to Dissipation and Doubt, the blanket which she used for sin (not being acquainted with any more concrete expression of it).[20]

And correspondingly she lacked (unlike the fanatic Bunyan or the spinsters Miss Austen and Miss Edgeworth) any sympathy for or even recognition of the natural sources of healthy life. The innocence of the dove is itself hardly an adequate equipment for a novelist, but even the race of doves would have died out soon after the Creation if as lacking as Charlotte Yonge in the instincts that make for survival.[21]

The essay serves also as a salutary reminder of the disastrous effects on a novelist of any kind of spiritual, cultural or ideological straight jacket; and if it were the locus classicus it deserves to be, it might make contemporary criticism more cautious about saluting the Yonges of our own day – the Greenes, say, or the Fowleses or the Doctorows. As it is, a combination of technical facility and fashionable cynicism or brutality or sexual explicitness (often all three) seem to constitute a reliable formula for achievement by a late-twentieth-century novelist of critical as well as commercial success.

Mrs Leavis’s discovery and celebration of another prolific nineteenth-century novelist, Mrs Oliphant, was virtually a single handed achievement,[22] though her enthusiastic advocacy does not seem to have made as much impact as it should have done. She persuaded Chatto and Windus to reissue Mrs Oliphant’s best novel, Miss Marjoribanks, in 1969,[23] and five years later the Leicester University Press to add to their Victorian Library a reprint of Autobiography and Letters.[24] To both of these she contributed substantial Introductions which conclusively establish Mrs Oliphant as a novelist who, at her best, deserves to be ranked with Jane Austen and George Eliot, and to receive much more attention than (say) Wilkie Collins or R. D. Blackmore or George Meredith – whose best work, unlike hers, has always been available in one or more of the various series of pocket classics. The following extracts are taken from the Introduction of Miss Marjoribanks:

That this novel is, in its consistently ironic comedy, probably unique in Mrs Oliphant’s oeuvre (I do not claim to have read the lot, nor does anyone else I imagine) does not mean that she hasn’t a continuous Miss Marjoribanks vein running through her work, a vein which constantly surfaces and which the connoisseur will soon learn to recognize and look out for; in her short stories it is more frequently dominant.[25]

…It brings to bear on Victorian provincial-town and country society the same acute and unsentimental critical mind that had produced Emma in the Regency period: the technique as well as the language and style of our novel is essentially very witty from start to finish.[26]

…Though we may start with the fear that Lucilla is so limited that she will bore us, this is presently seen to be far from being so, since it is soon apparent that she hands out her stock phrases, the acceptable clichés of the age, as passwords, camouflaging herself in conventional clothing to conceal her originality and get her own way…Imperceptibly Lucilla grows ever more interesting and endeared to us as ten years pass before our eyes.[27]

The range from the broadly comic opening and such irresistibly funny scenes as Miss Bury being outraged by the irreverence of the young barristers at Lucilla’s table, to Lucilla’s surrender to ‘honest love’, and the moving history of Dr Marjoirbank’s death, than which I know nothing finer of its kind in all Victorian fiction), is really greater than in an Austen novel or in many more pretentious Victorian novels…[28]

The seriousness I have called attention to as always below the surface is as much a valuable criticism of mid-nineteenth-century provincial society as George Eliot’s. Unlike George Eliot, Mrs Oliphant really has grasped the nettle – created a girl who is a real test for showing its cruel shortcomings (such as led Florence Nightingale to make her well know complaint against it). We have shown here plenty of its victims and not altogether as entertainment. There is one kind of married woman, the banker’s wife, the mother of many children, obsessed with the problem of looking after them…there is the self pitying, helpless widow and the Doctor’s wife who has taken to an invalid existence on the sofa because she couldn’t keep her husband’s affection…[29]

Miss Marjoribanks obliges adjustment to an individual scale as well as tone. The scale of Emma and Cranford is too minute for it, that of Middlemarch and Barchester Towers too large. One has also to get into step with the movement and be prepared for its being very slow at first and highly repetitive in phrasing (to get into the mentality of Carlingford). Then it gets brisker and gathers speed with the death of the member for Carlingford, slows down again as if to grind to a halt with the old Doctor’s death, and then picks up pace to gallop home with the love whose return in the nick of time – perhaps a satirical cliché – is heralded by Lucilla’s panic at the peal of her dead father’s night bell which decided her fate at last. The plotting is faultless and, on top of everything else, we have one of the best elections in Victorian fiction, rich in them as that is.[30]

Miss Marjoribanks is the only one of Mrs Oliphant’s novels still in print, but it should be said, for the benefit of any reader whose appetite is whetted, that it is well worth looking out for second-hand copies of her other fiction- they can be picked up quite cheaply, and while some things are dull (e.g. It was a Lover and his Lass) others are very good indeed, such as Kirsteen and Hester.[31] Perhaps Chatto could be persuaded to reissue the other titles in the “Chronicles of Carlingford” series, or at least the two best ones – The Perpetual Curate and Phoebe Junior[32] – in the same format as Miss Marjoribanks.

Although Mrs Leavis was always particularly interested in nineteenth-century literature, a glance at the files of Scrutiny will show that from 1932 to 1947 she read and reviewed a great deal of contemporary writing, especially fiction. Some of her reviews are devastating (e.g. the one of Dorothy L. Sayer’s detective stories[33]), but they are never merely destructive; as with F. R. Leavis’s attack on C. P. Snow[34], the primary motive is a deep concern for cultural standards. And although I have made no systematic analysis of the reviews, my impression when preparing the material for this essay was that a good half of them are broadly favourable to the works under consideration – the ones on Ruth Adams, James T. Farrell, George Orwell (long before he became fashionable) George Santayana and John Dos Passos spring readily to mind.[35]

Partly because it deals with a novel whose theme is peculiarly relevant to present-day problems, the review I have singled for Mrs Leavis’s immediate recognition of a work that has since become generally accepted as a modern classic is that of Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. The core of the review is as follows –

This is a novel to be most strongly recommended, even if these were not such lean times for novel readers…The introduction suggests how it is that the character of the protagonist, N. S. Rubashov, is such a remarkable achievement: the book is dedicated to the memory of those victims of the Moscow trials known to the author, and Rubashov’s life is a synthesis of theirs, we are told. Nevertheless, a real feat, the poignancy is controlled by the author’s detachment, there is not a false note or touch in spite of the horrors portrayed and the pity communicated, and the novel is in consequence a work of art.[36]

Regrettably, Mrs Leavis never again undertook regular reviewing work, but she continued to take a lively interest in contemporary fiction right up the time of her final illness, as her Cheltenham Festival Lecture demonstrated. Her reference to Solzhenitsyn was apparently but a prelude to a detailed critique of the author which she was working on at her death, for delivery as a lecture at a Summer School in 1981.[37]

My final group of quotations illustrates the uncompromising analysis and subsequent rejection of an inferior work by a distinguished modern writer. The writer was Virginia Woolf; the book, Three Guineas, published and reviewed three years before her death in 1941. The extended review from which the extracts are taken is particularly interesting and valuable for a number of reasons. First, it differs from most reviews of books by living writers who have already achieved a succèss d’estime, in not being sycophantic, deferential or (at best) diffidently critical. (And this was not because the reviewer believed Mrs Woolf’s reputation to be undeserved; she had earlier indicated her high opinion of To the Lighthouse – an opinion which she never relinquished.) Secondly, it displays that deep concern for cultural standards which was mentioned above as a primary motive of Mrs Leavis’s criticism, Third, its subject-matter has again become topical now that we are assailed at every turn by the vehement and humourless pronouncements of the feminists. Finally, it incorporates a remarkably forthright and coherent statement of the positive values the reviewer has used as a yardstick with which to evaluate and reject the work in question. In this respect, it may be profitably compared with Mrs Leavis’s Scrutiny essay on Edith Wharton, written at about the same time.38 Here, some extremely valuable suggestions are offered as to why, despite a formidable array of talents, Mrs Wharton failed to achieve greatness as a novelist. Comparing her with George Eliot, Mrs Leavis notes that despite the earlier novelist’s “simple-mindedness (except where great sensitiveness of feeling gave her a subtle insight)”,39 her relative lack of social and moral experience, her often ponderous prose style and defective technique, it is she who is the great novelist, while “even Mrs Wharton’s greatest admirer would hardly claim that title for her”.[40] But to explore this theme, however inadequately, a separate essay would be necessary: here, then, are the extracts from the review of Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas.[41]

The book…is a sort of chatty restatement of the rights and wrongs of women of Mrs Woolf’s class, with occasional reflections where convenient on the wrongs of other kinds of Englishwomen…As a reviewer I must say [it] impresses me as an unpleasant self-indulgence, and as a member of a class of educated women Mrs Woolf has apparently never heard of, I feel entitled to add that it is also highly undesirable. The reviewers have indeed all blessed the book, but any man who objected would lay himself open to the obvious charges of (a) being no gentleman and (b) expressing a resentment easily explicable in psychological terms, while any woman who refused to vote solid would of course be a traitress to the cause.[42]

The method is a deliberate avoidance of any argument – its unity is emotional. She tries to make a weapon of feminine inconsequence, and I felt sympathy with another reader of Three Guineas, of course of the wrong sex, who remarked to me that Mrs Woolf’s mental processes reminded him of Mrs Nickelby’s…Take pages 39 to 40. They run like this (I preserve Mrs Woolf’s wording where possible): men dress up in their professional capacities as warriors, lawyers, courtiers, dons; they forbid us women to wear such uniform , but don’t let them suppose they are anything but a ridiculous spectacle to us; preserving archaic uniforms for public ritual in the universities emphasizes the superiority of educated men over other people; this arouses competition and jealousy, emotions making for war; women can therefore help to prevent war by refusing to wear academic dress (though they have at present a legitimate grievance in not being allowed to wear it at Cambridge) or to accept public honours, and by openly despising men who do. I cannot understand all this as anything but phrases which have no meaningful connection, but it is a fair specimen of the rhetoric in which the ‘argument’ of Three Guineas is conducted.[43]

I myself stipulate that any piece of female writing advocating equality of opportunity for the sexes should prove its author to have a highly developed character and a remarkable intellect, to be free from mere sex-hostility, to have an at least masculine sense of responsibility and that capacity for self-criticism which impresses us as a mark of the best kind of masculine mind, and over and above that to come from a woman capable of justifying her existence in any walk of life.[44]

Then there is the plan (for improving the position of educated women) for abolishing the man-made university with its examinations, degrees and distinctions based on native ability, and substituting the ideal college as conceived by and for women. At a time when all responsible educationalists are expressing radical dissatisfaction both with the existing college system and with the accepted idea of university education this attracts our attention as a hopeful sign. But as a nice practical start Mrs Woolf won’t hear of university students being in any way prepared to earn a living, even by studying specialties. She thinks that adults from eighteen to twenty one can justify their existence as burdens on the state by studying what she calls the art of living. Most people might feel that the art of living is best acquired incidentally to some discipline, either that given by brute circumstances when one is forced to stand on one’s own feet (ideal: Robinson Crusoe) or that acquired in the pursuit of specialist studies – and many educationists now think it would be an improvement to combine the two. Mrs Woolf’s conception seems…to me the art of living as conceived by a social parasite.[45]

I feel bound to disagree with Mrs Woolf’s assumption that running a household and family unaided necessarily hinders or weakens thinking. One’s own kitchen and nursery, and not the drawing room where tired professional men relax among the ladies (thus Mrs Woolf), is the realm where living takes place, and I see no profit in letting our servants live for us.[46]The activities Mrs Woolf wishes to free educated women from as wasteful not only provide a valuable discipline, they serve as a sieve for determining what values are important and genuine and which are contemptible and conventional. It is this order of experience that often makes the conversation of an uncultivated, charmless woman who has merely worked hard and reared a family interesting and stimulating, while its absence renders a hypertrophied conversation-piece like Three Guineas tiresome and worthless.[47]

The ordinary reader tends to be suspicious of or indifferent to literary criticism, often with good reason: much of it is written by academics primarily to further their own careers, and has nothing important to communicate. However, it is regrettable if such attitudes lead the reader to overlook Mrs Leavis’s criticism, which will itself soon become part of our literary heritage. In plain and forceful English, it directs us to what is vital in the prose literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; it discriminates, often delicately but always decisively, between the good and the less good work of authors whose writings the critic regards as of permanent value; it uncompromisingly dissects pretentious or other second-rate writing which for whatever reason has achieved an inflated reputation; and it diagnoses with uncanny accuracy the early symptoms of certain undesirable cultural trends which later become only too obvious.

It is shameful as well as regrettable that Mrs Leavis’s work was never accorded a proper measure of recognition during her lifetime. One can only hope that such recognition, which would involve placing her with our greatest critics, will speedily follow the publication of her uncollected papers.

Norwich, May 1983

  1. 1. The lecture was subsequently published in New Universities Quarterly, Spring 1981.
    2. Letter from Miss K. Leavis to M. B. Kinch, 25 March 1981.
    3. Letter from Q. D. Leavis to M. B. Kinch, 25 March 1976.
    4. Q. D. Leavis Fiction and the Reading Public, Chatto and Windus 1969.
    5. William Walsh, F. R. Leavis, Chatto and Windus 1980.
    6. See, for example, the letter from Q. D. L. to Storm Jameson dated November 1948 (just after the publication of The Great Tradition), quoted in the second volume of Jameson’s autobiography, Journey from the North, 2 vols., Collins and Harvill Press 1970, and Professor Boris Ford’s Letter to the Editor, The Times, 26th March 1981.
    7. Obituary: Mrs Q. D. Leavis, The Times, 19th March 1981.
    8. F. R. & Q. D. Leavis, Lectures in America, Chatto & Windus 1969.
    9. F. R. & Q. D. Leavis, Dickens the Novelist, Chatto and Windus 1970.
    10. F. R. Leavis (ed.) A Selection from “Scrutiny”, 2 vols., Cambridge University Press 1968.
    11. “Lives and Works of Richard Jeffreys”, Scrutiny vol. 6, pp. 435 – 466, 1938.
    12. Ibid. p. 444.
    13. Ibid. p. 443.
    14. Ibid. p. 443.
    15. Ibid. p. 443.
    16. Ibid. p. 441.
    17. “Charlotte Yonge and ‘Christian Discrimination'”, Scrutiny vol. 12, pp. 152 – 60, 1944.
    18. Robert Liddell, A Treatise on the Novel, Cape 1947.
    19. “Charlotte Yonge and ‘Christian Discrimination'”, Ibid. p. 152.
    20. Ibid. p. 152 – 3.
    21. Ibid. p. 153.
    22. Ibid.
    23. Credit should also be given to the Editor of a series of reprints of neglected nineteenth-century classics published by Gollancz in the 1950s, who included in the series Mrs Oliphant’s Hester, one of her best novels, and to James Reeves who wrote an introduction to this volume. The series also included Emily Eden’s novel, The Semi-Attached Couple, which was mentioned favourably by Mrs Leavis in her Cheltenham Festival Lecture, 1980.
    24. Mrs Oliphant, Miss Marjoribanks, Zodiac Press 1969, Introduction by Q. D. Leavis.
    25. Mrs Oliphant, Autobiography and Letters (ed. Mrs Harry Coghill), Leicester University Press 1974, Introduction by Q. D. Leavis.
    26. Miss Marjoibanks, Ibid. p. 1.
    27 Ibid. p. 1 – 2.
    28. Ibid. p. 6 – 7.
    29. Ibid. p. 8
    30. Ibid. p. 19.
    31. Ibid. p. 23.
    32. Mrs Oliphant, It was a Lover and his Lass, Hurst and Blackett 1883; Kirsteen: The Story of a Scotch Family Seventy Years Ago, Macmillan 1890; Hester: The Story of a Contemporary Life, Macmillan 1883. (See also note 23 above.)
    33. Mrs Oliphant, The Perpetual Curate, Blackwood 1864; Phoebe Junior: a last Chronicle of Carlingford, Hurst and Blackett 1876. The other titles in the “Chronicles of Carlingford” are: The Executor, short story, Blackwood’s Magazine May 1861, The Rector and the Doctor’s Family, Blackwood 1863; and Salem Chapel, Blackwood 1863. Miss Marjoribanks was first published in book form in 1866 by Blackwood, and is thus the penultimate volume in the series.
    34. “The Case of Miss Dorothy Sayers”, Scrutiny vol. 6, pp. 334 – 40, 1937.
    35. F. R. Leavis, Two Cultures? – The Significance of C. P. Snow, Richmond Lecture delivered at Downing College, Cambridge 28 February 1962, and first printed in The Spectator 9 March 1962. The lecture is reprinted in F. R. Leavis, Nor Shall My Sword: Discourses on Pluralism, Compassion and Social Hope, Chatto & Windus 1972.
    36. “‘Femina Vie Heureuse’ Please Note” – Review of Ruth Adam, I’m Not Complaining, Scrutiny, vol. 7, pp. 81 – 5, 1938; Salavin (Georges Duhamel) and Studs Lonigan (James T Farrell), Scrutiny vol. 5, pp. 423 – 4; “The Literary Life Respectable”,  vol. 9, pp. 170 – 6, 1940; “The Last Epicurean” – review of George Santayana, The Last Puritan, Scrutiny vol. 4, p. 320, 1935; and “Mr Dos Passos end his Trilogy”, reviews of The Big Money and novels by other authors, Scrutiny vol. 5, pp. 294 – 9, 1936.
    37. “A Novel to Recommend” – review of Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, Scrutiny, vol. 11, p. 160a, 1942.
    38. “Henry James’s Heiress: the Importance of Edith Wharton”, Scrutiny, vol. 7, pp. 261 -76, 1938.
    39. Ibid. p. 274.
    40. Ibid.
    41. “Caterpillars of the Commonwealth Unite!” – review of Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas, Scrutiny, vol. 7 pp. 203 – 14, 1938.
    42. Ibid. pp. 203 – 4.
    43. Ibid. pp. 205 – 9.
    44. Ibid. p. 209.
    45. Ibid. pp. 207 – 8
    46. It may be as well to mention that this remark does not contradict the statement in the previous sentence about ‘running a household and family unaided’. It is a reference to a passage of dialogue in Axel (‘a sort of dramatic poem in prose’ – Edmund Wilson) by the French Symbolist writer Villiers de l’Isle-Adam (1838 – 1899): ‘Live? Our servants will do that for us…’.
    47. “Caterpillars of the Commonwealth Unite!”,  . pp. 210 – 11.

Select Bibliography

For a full bibliography of Q. D. Leavis’s writings up to 1979, see William Baker, “F. R. Leavis 1922 – 1979′, and Q. D. Leavis 1965 – 1979: a Bibliography of writings by and about them”, Bulletin of Bibliography, F. W. Faxon and Co. Inc., Massachusetts, vol. 37, pp. 185 – 208, 1980.

I. Books

1. Fiction and the Reading Public, Chatto and Windus, 1932.
2. Lectures in America (with F. R. Leavis), Chatto and Windus, 1969.
3. Dickens the Novelist (with F. R. Leavis) Chatto and Windus, 1970.

II. Essays, Reviews, Lectures, etc.
(Scrutiny is abbreviated to ‘Spassim.)

(a) Comprehensive Assessments of the Work of Particular Authors.

4. “A Middleman of Ideas” – the work of Stuart Chase, S 1, 69 – 73, 1932.
5. “The Critical Writings of George Santanyana”, S 4, 278 – 96, 1935.
6. “The Lives and Work of Richard Jefferies”, S 6, 435 – 66, 1938.
7. “Gissing and the English Novel”, S 7, 73 – 81, 1938.
8. “Henry James’s Heiress: the Importance of Edith Wharton”, S 7, 261 – 76, 1938.
9. “Leslie Stephen: Cambridge Critic”, S 7, 404 – 15, 1939.
10. “A Critical Theory of Jane Austen’s Writings”, S 10, 61 – 87, 114 – 42, & 272 – 94, 1941 – 2.
11. “Hardy and Criticism”, S 11, 230 – 97, 1943.
12. “A Critical Theory of Jane’s Austen’s writings: The Letters”, S 12, 104 -19, 1944.
13. “Henry James: The Stories”, S 14, 223 – 9, 1947.
14. “Hawthorne as Poet”, Sewanee Review, Spring and Summer 1951 (two parts).
15. “Joseph Conrad”, Sewanee Review, Spring 1958.
16. “Edith Wharton” – contribution to Edith Wharton: a Collection of Critical Essays, ed. I Howe, Prentice-Hall, 1962.
17. Introduction to Autobiography and Letters of Mrs Margaret Oliphant, ed. Mrs Harry Coghill, Leicester University Press, 1974.
18. “Melville: the 1853 – 6 Phase” – contribution to New Essays on Melville, ed. F. Pullin, Edinburgh
University Press, 1978.

(b) Detailed analyses of individual works.

19. “Caterpillars of the Commonwealth Unite” – review of Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf, S 7, 203 – 14, 1938.
20. Introduction to Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Macdonald, 1957.
21. Introduction to Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Macdonald, 1958.
22. Introduction to Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Penguin Books, 1966.
23. Introduction to George Eliot, Silas Marner, Penguin Books, 1967.
24. Introduction to Mrs Oliphant, Miss Marjoribanks, Zodiac Press (Chatto and Windus) 1969.
25. Introduction to Charlotte Brontë, Villette, Harper Colophon Books, 1972.
26. “The Water Babies”, Children’s Literature in Education, 23, Winter 1976.

(c) Book Reviews.

27. “Proletarian Criticism” – review of Henri Barbusse, “Zola”, S 1 287 – 8, 1932.
28. The Salutation, (Sylvia Townsend Warner) S 1, 296, 1932.
29. “The Last Epicurean” – review of George Santayana, The Last Puritan, S 4, 320, 1935.
30. Clear Horizon (Dorothy Richardson) King Coffin, (Conrad Aiken), and Beany-Eye {David Garnett). S 4, 328 -33, 1935.
31. “Regional Novels” – review of H. L. Davis, Honey in the Horn, S 4, 440 – 7, 1936.
32. “English Novelists and Higher Reviewers” – review of Derek Verschoyle (ed.) The English Novelists, S 5, 93 – 9, 1936.
33. “Mr E. M. Forster” – review of Abinger Harvest, S 5, 100 – 105, 1936.
34. “Twentieth Century Bunyans” – review of Hugo von Hoffmannstahl, Andreas or the United, S 5, 177 – 8, 1936.
35. “Mr Aldous Huxley” – review of Eyeless in Gaza, S 5, 179 – 83, 1936.
36. “Dustier and Dustier” – review of Rosamond Lehmann, Weather in the Streets, S 5, 183 – 5, 1936.
37. “Mr Dos Passos Ends His Trilogy” – reviews of The Big Money, and of Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show, and of Kay Boyle, Death of a Man, S 5, 294 – 9. 1936.
38. “Entertainment Literature” – review of Robert Graves, Antigua, Penny, Puce, S 5, 300 – 1, 1936.
39. “Class War Criticism” – review of P. Henderson, The Novel Today, S 5, 418 – 23, 1937.
40. Salavin, (Georges Duhamel) and Studs Lonigan (James T. Farrell), S 5, 423 – 4, 1937.
41. “‘Femina Vie Heureuse’ Please Note” – review of Ruth Adam, I’m Not Complaining, S 7, 81 – 5, 1938.
42. “Ruth Adam Again” – review of There Needs No Ghost, S 7, 458. 1939.
43. “Beggars of Horseback” – reviews of Irving Stone, Sailors on Horseback: the Biography of Jack London, and Margaret Lane, Edgar Wallace, S 7, 478 – 9, 1939.
44. “A Novel to Recommend” – review of Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, S 11, 160a. 1942.
45. “A Passage to Palestine” – review of Arthur Koestler, Thieves in the Night, S 14, 138 – 41, 1946.
46. “The Institution of Henry James” – review of F. W. Dupee (ed.) The Question of Henry James, S 15, 68 -74, 1947.

(d) Miscellaneous

Some of the following are essays which take a recently published book as their staring point. but they are included in this section rather than in section (c) above because of their wide-ranging character: they were often occasioned by the near-simultaneous publication of two or more books seen by the essayist as representative of particular cultural trends.

47. “The Book Society Recommends…”, S 1, 179 – 81, 1932,
48. “Our Serious Weeklies”, S 2, 182 – 3, 1933,
49. “Fleet Street and Pierian Roses”, S 2, 137 – 92, 1934.
50. “Lady Novelists and the Lower Orders”, S 4, 114 – 32, 1935,
51. “The Case of Miss Dorothy Sayers”, S 6, 334 – 40, 1937.
52. “The Background of Twentieth-Century Letters”, S 8, 72 – 7, 1939.
53. “The Literary Life Respectable”, S 9, 170 – 6, 1940.
54. “Academic Case-History”, S 11, 305 – 10, 1943.
55. “The Discipline of Letters: a Sociological Note”, S 12, 12 – 26, 1943.
56. “English Character”, S 12, 67 – 71, 1943.
57. “Charlotte Yonge and ‘Christian Discrimination'”, S 12, 152 – 60, 1944.
58. Professor Chadwick and English Studies” (by “A Pupil”), S 14, 204 – 8, 1947.
59. “Henry Sidgwick’s Cambridge”, S 15, 2 – 11, 1947.
60. “A Note on Literary Indebtedness: Dickens, George Eliot, Henry James”, Hudson Review 8, 423 – 8, 1955.
61. “The Englishness of the English Novel”, Cheltenham Literature Festival Lecture, October 1980; New Universities Quarterly, Spring 1981.