Spring 1950 • Vol. XII No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1950 |

Lives Relevant and Irrelevant

Jane Austen by Elizabeth Jenkins. Pellegrini and Cudahy. $4.00. The Last Attachment: The Story of Byron and Teresa Guiccioli by Iris Origo. Scribner's. $5.00. John Greenleaf Whittier by John A. Pollard. Houghton Mifflin. $6.00. Canon Charles Kingsley by Dame Una Pope-Hennessey. Macmillan. $3.00. Maupassant: A Lion in the Path by Francis Steegmuller. Random House. $5.00. John Ruskin: The Portrait of a Prophet by Peter Quennell. Viking. $3.75. Christina Rossetti: A Portrait with Background by Marya Zaturenska. Macmillan. $4.00.   The definitive biographer too soon persuades us that his subject was a very dull fellow. Thinking, perhaps, that the subject sanctifies the facts, or even that the facts define the man, he pours them on us with all the ardor of irrelevance. Mr. Pollard, for example, doesn't merely know that Whittier had a grandfather and that he emigrated to America. He even knows the tonnage of the boat he came in, and the news is too good to be suppressed. To reach

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