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West, Rebecca, 1892-1983

Summary Article: West, [Dame] Rebecca (pseud. of Cicily Isabel Fairfield) from Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature
West was sometimes described as the “Bernard Shaw in Petticoats,” and in 1916 Bernard SHAW himself wrote that the young Rebecca could “handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely.” West—who took the name Rebecca West after the strong-minded heroine of Henrik Ibsen’s play Rosmersholm in which she had acted in 1912—established her reputation as a journalist, critic, and reviewer at a very early age. She wrote with verve, passion, and outspoken honesty in left-wing and feminist papers, first in the shortlived pioneering feminist periodical, the Freewoman, then in Robert Blatchford’s socialist weekly, the Clarion, and later in the American journal, the New Republic, and also in the New Statesman where she was a columnist writing her regular “Notes on Novels” in the 1920s. Converted to the cause of votes for women while still at school, her early writings reflected the strong feminist conviction that led George E. G. C...    Continue Reading
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