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The Delicate Fire
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By Mitchison, Naomi. With an Introduction by Isobel Murray.
ISBN 1849210373
SERIES The Naomi Mitchison Library
Paperback  374 pages
 
Published 31 July 2012
UK Price £14.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $25.00   Order from amazon.com

The Delicate Fire illustrates a fundamental change in Naomi Mitchison's work. The early stories are set in ancient Greece, like many before them. But here Mitchison effectively says farewell to that setting with accounts of the worlds of Sappho and 'Lovely Mantinea'. By the end, she seems wholly turned to the twentieth century - a new departure for her - tackling subjects such as the General Strike of 1926 and contemporaneous Hunger marches, and battles against censorship. This shift marks her politicisation, her growing fear of fascism, but more personally also the end of her long affair with a distinguished scholar of the ancient world. She turns away from Greece for good. She turns to the present, and will spend the thirties warning against fascism.

Isobel Murray is Emeritus Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of Aberdeen.


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