Fleming, G(ordon) H(oward)

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FLEMING, G(ordon) H(oward)

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Constable & Robinson Book Publishers, 3 the Lanchesters, 162 Fulham Palace Rd., London W6 9ER, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator and Author. Professor of literature at University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University.

WRITINGS:

George Alfred Lawrence and the Victorian Sensation Novel, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1952.

Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rupert Hart-Davis (London, England), 1967.

That Ne'er Shall Meet Again: Rossetti, Millais, Hunt, Michael Joseph (London, England), 1971.

The Young Whistler, 1834-66, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1978.

The Unforgettable Season, Holt, Reinhart & Winston (New York, NY), 1981.

The Dizziest Season: The Gashouse Gang Chases the Pennant, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984.

Murderers' Row: The 1927 New York Yankees, Morrow (New York, NY), 1985.

Lady Colin Campbell: Victorian "Sex Goddess," Windrush Press (Gloucestershire, England), 1989.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler: A Life, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.

John Everett Millais: A Biography, Constable & Robinson (London, England), 1998.

SIDELIGHTS:

A professor of literature at a number of American universities throughout his career, G. H. Fleming's wide range of interests include the visual arts, sports, and jazz music. This diversity of can be seen in the diversity of subject matter about which he has written.

As an authority on the Victorian era, Fleming presents a biography of one of the period's most colorful and interesting characters, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in a book titled Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Here Fleming discusses Rossetti's life, beginning with his cofounding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1948 and following through to the group's disbanding in 1953. This society of artists strove for naturalism and realism in their works, especially those with religious subject matter. As a poet and an artist with a flamboyant personality, Rossetti produced a diverse body of work that makes him a difficult person to analyze. A critic for the Times Literary Supplement nevertheless praised the biography for being "conscientious in providing a background to the Victorian scene, both social and in the world of art." Fleming continued his exploration of Pre-Raphaeliate painters in his next book, That Ne'er Shall Meet Again: Rossetti, Millais, Hunt,

In addition to writing about art and the Victorian period, Fleming has published a number of books about sports, the first being The Unforgettable Season, which describes the New York Giants football team and their race toward the 1908 pennant. Fleming tells the story through quotes from newspaper articles written at that time. National Review contributor Joe Mysak commented, "It is certainly a departure for Fleming, but he carries the whole thing off with skill and dash." The Dizziest Season: The Gashouse Gang Chases the Pennant, which covers the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, and Murderers' Row: The 1927 New York Yankees, are structured in a manner similar to The Unforgettable Season.

Fleming makes another departure in subject matter with Lady Colin Campbell: Victorian Sex Goddess. Though again focusing on a well-known personality from the Victorian period, his subject is not an artist but a high-bred English lady whose marriage to Lord Colin was steeped in scandal. The Campbells experienced a very public, costly, and messy divorce, the cause of which was Lord Campbell's wedding night gift of gonorrhea to his new wife, Lady Campbell; the lady's many love affairs were also common knowledge. Lady Colin Campbell covers this tabloid story from the point of view of Lady Campbell, a far more appealing personality than Lord Campbell, who Jonathan Keates described in the London Observer as "infinitely the less likable, a whining, sickly cad." Keates also noted that the title "Sex Goddess" was given to Lady Campbell by a contemporary newspaper, and wrote that "Fleming emphasises Lady Colin's role as a social victim." Keates concluded, "Wonderfully unedifying yet a superb corrective to nostalgia," Lady Colin Campbell "is a thumping good read."

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, a Victorian-era artist from the United States, is the subject of Fleming's The Young Whistler, 1834-66. In 1991 he returned to Whistler again with James Abbott McNeill Whistler: A Life. Carter Ratcliff pointed out in his Los Angeles Times Book Review appraisal of the latter that, since his death in 1903, Whistler has been the subject of no less than sixty-nine biographies, yet the critic commented that in this book Fleming "presents a familiar figure in particularly sharp outline." Ratcliff also said that Fleming provides a particularly insightful reading of the diary of Whistler's mother, Anna, and concluded: "Fleming is the sort of biographer who inspires confidence. Telling his story with concision, he rarely sacrifices important detail, so you are left with the feeling that if a character is elusive there is no help for it."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Libraries, April, 1985, review of Murderers' Row: The 1927 New York Yankees, p. 208.

Burlington, November, 1967, Keith Roberts, review of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, p. 654.

Choice, April, 1979, review of The Young Whistler, p. 212.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1985, review of Murderers' Row, p. 128.

Library Journal, January 15, 1979, Randall I. Bond, review of The Young Whistler, 1834-66, p. 184; February 1, 1981, Marshall E. Nunn, review of The Unforgettable Season, p. 366; April 15, 1984, Samuel Simons, review of The Dizziest Season: The Gashouse Gang Chases the Pennant, p. 820; April 15, 1985, review of Murderers' Row, p. 83.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 24, 1991, Carter Ratcliff, review of James Abbott McNeill Whistler: A Life, p. 7.

National Review, July 24, 1981, Joe Mysak review of The Unforgettable Season, p. 856; October 4, 1985, review of The Dizziest Season, p. 52; May 9, 1986, review of Murderers' Row, p. 59.

New Statesman, December 10, 1971, D. A. N. Jones, review of That Ne'er Shall Meet Again: Rossetti, Millais, Hunt, p. 832.

New York Times, July 18, 1982, Dich Schaap, review of The Unforgettable Season, p. 27; August 11, 1991, review of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, p. 20.

New York Times Book Review, August 11, 1991, Andrea Barnet, review of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, p. 20.

Observer (London, England), June 18, 1989, Jonathan Keates, review of Lady Colin Campbell: Victorian Sex Goddess, p. 45.

People, June 3, 1985, Roger Wolmuth, review of Murderers' Row, p. 20.

Philadelphia, May, 1985, Ben Yagoda, review of Murderers' Row, p. 91.

Publishers Weekly, March 30, 1984, review of The Dizziest Season,, p. 47; March 1, 1985, review of Murderers' Row, p. 74; May 10, 1991, review of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, p. 270.

Spectator, January 27, 1967, Anthony Burgess, review of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, p. 106; November 6, 1971, Christopher Hudson, review of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, p. 656; December 2, 1978, Benny Green, review of The Young Whistler, pp. 24-25; September 5, 1998, Richard Stone, review of John Everett Millais: A Biography, p. 34.

Sports Illustrated, March 30, 1981, Marshall E. Nunn, review of The Unforgettable Season, p. 6.

Times Literary Supplement, January 19, 1967, review of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, p. 45; December 3, 1971, Michael Joseph, review of The Young Whistler, p. 1501; November 6, 1998, Lindsay Duguid, review of John Everett Millais, p. 11.

Washington Post Book World, July 18, 1982, review of The Unforgettable Season, p. 16.*