“I am afraid I am not Irish”: Letters from Rose Macaulay to Katharine Tynan
in In and out of Bloomsbury
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The article presents and discusses thirteen previously unpublished letters from the British novelist and poet Rose Macaulay to the Irish poet and novelist Katharine Tynan, who in 1913 initiated a correspondence and friendship when she wrote to congratulate Rose on winning with The Lee Shore in a prestigious and valuable Novel Competition which she too had entered. Katharine continued to express admiration for Rose’s writing, especially her novels, not only in her letters to Rose (not preserved), but also in memoirs and articles. Rose in turn praised Katharine’s work, especially her poetry, emphasising particularly the comfort it gave her and others in wartime. She herself had lost several friends, including Rupert Brooke, and was anxious about her brother, who was serving in the army. Katharine’s two sons were in the army too. Rose took an interest in Katharine’s daughter, Pamela Hinkson, who was showing early promise as a writer. In 1925 Katharine sent Rose a novel, The Victors, by Peter Deane. When Rose replied, she did not realise that Peter Deane was a pseudonym used by Pamela, let alone that the sad story was closely based on the postwar experiences of Katharine’s elder son.

In and out of Bloomsbury

Biographical essays on twentieth-century writers and artists

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