Beryl Bainbridge is one of Britain’s major post-war novelists. This study analyses Bainbridge’s work in relation to some of the pressing debates in post-war literary studies. It frames Bainbridge’s work within her life and times, describing her unique approach to fictionalising her own past and Britain’s more distant historical past. Topics covered include Bainbridge’s vexed relationship with feminism; her approach to comedy; her treatment of autobiography; her interest in myth-making and national tragedy; and her un-theorised yet subtly postmodernist views about history, fiction and memory. With generous reference to Bainbridge’s peers, her literary influences and those influenced by her work, Marsh identifies the major phases of Bainbridge’s career, contextualising each with material from Bainbridge’s journalism, essays interviews and unpublished papers. Suitable for all readers of Bainbridge’s novels and including suggestions for further reading, Marsh’s book combines awareness of recent literary criticism and theory with accessible, contextualised readings.
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