Summer 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 3 Reviews: Dickens and Some Others: Special Review SectionJuly 1, 1965 |

Children of Violence

CHILDREN OF VIOLENCE by Doris Lessing. Simon and Schuster, $7.50. I have had eight weeks' experience of matrimony. And do I regret the step I have taken? No, though I must confess, in my secret heart, that Arthur is not what I thought him at first, and if I had known him in the beginning as thoroughly as I do now, I probably never should have loved him. This is Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; bring the diction up to date and it could be Martha Quest, heroine of Doris Lessing's Children of Violence, making 100 years later the same bittersweet discovery: that her husband is a fool. Doris Lessing's women are eminently modern; devoted to radical politics and sexual freedom, they consider themselves representatives of a new consciousness. But what is most striking about them is not their modernity—one does not in fact know many such women—but their resemblance to the traditional heroine of the feminine novel, the relentless nineteenth-century female searching ou

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