By Judy Simons (auth.)
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Extra info for Rosamond Lehmann
Judith is an example of an essentially post-war woman with educational opportunities that were denied her pre-war fictional counterparts, even such liberated New Women as, for instance, H. G. Wells's Ann Veronica. These opportunities, which involve her leaving home at the age of eighteen, emancipate her both intellectually and socially. In addition, the relationships at the centre of the novel's action are presented with an explicitness that reflects the contemporary sexual revolution and its associated examination of gender.
I see them sort of wander off into the drorin' room with their heads down, leanin' close, and not another word spoke' (p. 85). The deep-seated sentimental affection evoked in this relationship blends with an appreciation of feminine beauty to suggest a more explicitly sensual dimension to female friendship. The attraction between Judith Earle and Jennifer Baird in a work that deals fundamentally with the intensity of adolescent ardour, is realised as a deeply moving and passionate experience that provides an episode of complete mutual absorption and emotional satisfaction in the lives of two young women at a transitional stage in their growing up.
In addition, the relationships at the centre of the novel's action are presented with an explicitness that reflects the contemporary sexual revolution and its associated examination of gender. The book is in fact pervaded by a consciousness of the effects of the First World War and the changes that this has wrought in the lives of the young. The portrayal of Judith, a product of a sheltered upbringing in Edwardian England, inevitably reflects something of Lehmann's own background and circumstances.
Rosamond Lehmann by Judy Simons (auth.)