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The life of Henry Yorke and the writing of Henry Green

By Ann Hancock


This thesis is in two parts. Part I deals with the life of Henry\ud Yorke, the real name of the author, Henry Green. My aims are: to suggest\ud how the roles of businessman and novelist interrelated and how\ud Green's personality and attitudes affected his writing; to describe how\ud the novels were critically received at the time of publication; and to\ud establish Green's social context. Green's life has up to now been virtually\ud ignored by critics so research involved not only reference to\ud published material but also contact with Green's friend and family.\ud The opening pages of Part II make the link between life and work\ud in a brief discussion of Green's theoretical writings, which were based\ud largely on his own experience. I then go on to consider the novels in\ud detail. Some comparisons are made with other novelists, not so much to\ud set Green in a tradition as to establish a context of twentieth-century\ud literature which Green is at once part of yet apart from.\ud Chapters 9 to 12 examine techniques: structure, imagery, symbolism,\ud narrative style, dialogue. There are several reasons for my approach.\ud First, the concentration on language is due to my interest in Green\ud primarily as a writer of prose rather than fiction. Repeated words\ud and, even more, dialogue, are structural elements in Green's novels but\ud have received scant attention. My discussion of these topics stresses\ud ambivalence, which characterized Green's style of perception. I explore\ud his belief that a novel should be open to a multitude of interpretations\ud and show how the reader is encouraged to participate in the creation of\ud meaning. The last chapter brings together many of the points already\ud made in a close reading of Loving

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