Book reviews: The Adelphi



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HW was a contributor to this prestigious literary 'little magazine' over many years and became its owner/editor for a brief period ('"little magazine" is a term referring to a set of literary periodicals published between roughly 1912 and 1939 that are characterized by their small readership, financial fragility, and artistic innovation' – Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Literature).


The Cambridge Guide to Literature (Cambridge University Press, revised edition, 1992) has the following short entry for the magazine:


Adelphi, The  A journal founded by John Middleton Murry in 1923, appearing monthly at first and then from 1927 as a quarterly (under the title of The New Adelphi until 1930). Its purpose was chiefly to air the literary and philosophical views of Murry himself and of his friend D. H. Lawrence. Murry handed over the editorship in 1930 to Max Plowman and Richard Rees. Before it ceased publication in 1955 it had counted W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, George Orwell and W. B. Yeats among its contributors.


It omits to mention that in the late summer of 1948 HW took over this magazine as owner and editor, albeit for three issues only; nor is he mentioned as a regular contributor. For further information and details of his contributions to this literary periodical, see The Adelphi.


Contributions to The Adelphi both by and about HW have been collected in Words on the West Wind (ed. John Gregory, HWS, 2000; e-book 2013).


During the period of his editorship and shortly afterwards, HW reviewed or mentioned a number of books in his 'Words on the West Wind' editorials:



ALLSOP, Kenneth: Adventure Lit Their Star (Latimer House, 1949)

ARMSTRONG, Benjamin J.: A Norfolk Diary (Harrap, 1949)

CHURCHILL, Winston: Painting as a Pastime (Odhams Press, 1948)

CURTIS, Brian: The Life Story of the Fish: his morals and manners (Harcourt Brace, NY, 1949)

FARSON, Negley: The Sons of Noah (Gollancz, 1949)

GIBBINGS, Robert: Over the Reefs (Dent, 1948)

GOETHE: Faust, trans. by Bayard Taylor (Euphorion Books, 1949)

LOCKLEY, R. M.: The Cinnamon Bird (Staples Press, 1948)

LOCKLEY, R. M.: The Golden Year (Witherby, 1948)

OSBORN, Fairfield: Our Plundered Planet (Faber, 1949)

PAUL, Leslie: Heron Lake: A Norfolk Year (Batchworth Press, 1948)

SMITH, David: The Same Sky Over All (Dent, 1948)

STRICK, John: Poems; with a memoir by Harold Nicholson (Percival Marshall, 1948)

TOMALIN, Ruth: The Day of the Rose: Essays and Portraits (Fortune Press, 1947)

TOMALIN, Ruth: Threnody for Dormice and other poems (Fortune Press, 1947)

WRENCH, Sir Evelyn: Francis Yeats-Brown (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1948)




Vol. 25, No. 2

January–March 1949


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This review copy was given to Richard Williamson, then aged 13:


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Vol. 25, No. 3

April–June 1949


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This review copy was given to Richard Williamson some two years later for his sixteenth birthday, as if from his half-brother Harry (then one year old, Harry was HW's son with his second wife Christine; he was always called 'Poody' as a child).


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Included in this collection of poems is this one, with HW's comment written beside it – twenty-four years later, Richard Williamson became Warden of Kingley Vale:


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Vol. 26, No. 1

Autumn Book Number 1949


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