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Garrett, Martin

GARRETT, Martin

PERSONAL: Male.


ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Interlink Publishing, 46 Crosby St., Northampton, MA 01060-1804.


CAREER: Oxford University, Oxford, England, tutor and lecturer.


WRITINGS:

"A Diamond, Though Set in Horn": Philip Massinger's Attitude to Spectacle ("Salsburg Studies in English Literature" series), University of Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), 1984.

(Editor) Massinger: The Critical Heritage, Routledge (New York, NY), 1991.

Greece: A Literary Companion, J. Murray (London, England), 1994.

(Editor) Sidney: The Critical Heritage, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.

Traveller's Literary Companion to Italy ("Traveller's Literary Companion" series), In Print (Brighton, England), 1998.

(Editor) Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert

Browning: Interviews and Recollections, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

George Gordon, Lord Byron ("British Library Writers' Lives" series), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Venice: A Cultural and Literary Companion ("Cities of the Imagination" series), Interlink Books (New York, NY) 2001.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning ("British Library Writers' Lives" series), Oxford University Press (New York, NY) 2001.

A Mary Shelley Chronology ("Author Chronologies" series), Palgrave (New York, NY), 2002.

Mary Shelley ("British Library Writers' Lives" series), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Cambridge: A Cultural and Literary History ("Cities of the Imagination" series), Interlink Books (Northampton, MA), 2004.


SIDELIGHTS: British author and scholar Martin Garrett is a freelance tutor and lecturer at several colleges at Oxford University. He is also the author and editor of volumes of literary criticism and history, as well as a number of books that detail the literary aspects of tourism within some of the world's great cities. His Massinger: The Critical Heritage is a collection of criticism of the work of British dramatist Philip Massinger, who was popular in his own time but faded from notice as the years passed. Massinger was derided by such luminaries as T. S. Eliot, who in his essay "The Sacred Wood" criticized Massinger's lack of sophistication. The words of Eliot and other critics of his mindset are countered by those of Thomas Davies, who wrote of Massinger's "easy constant flow of harmonious language." Notes and Queries contributor Gordon McMullan noted that in the absence of a reasonably priced volume on Massinger and recognition of this author's "centrality to ongoing debates about collaboration and authority, the politics of genre, and issues of gender and power, Massinger appears doomed to remain on the margins of university coursework. We should thus be grateful to Martin Garrett for several reasons: for a useful and well-selected collection of critical commentaries . . . and for raising our awareness both of Massinger's work and his long critical inheritance and thus of the profound injustice done him by Eliot, an injustice given crisp context by the range of viewpoints anthologized here."

In Greece: A Literary Companion Garrett focuses on post-classical Greece and provides a light and idea-filled history of events and places as seen through the eyes of such writers as Henry Miller, Arnold Toynbee, and Edward Lear. Review of English Studies writer Paul Cartledge called the volume an "amused and optimistic celebration of the glory that is Greece, in whose literate reflection another generation of armchair travelers may, thanks to his sympathetic bricolage, companionably bask." Spectator critic Peter Levi called Greece "a spirited, sparkling performance," adding that "It is more of an introduction, full of ideas and disconcerting reactions, just sour enough but not dry, full of sudden enthusiasm but never pausing too long, not at all classical." Garrett's Traveller's Literary Companion to Italy is part of a series of similar books. In this volume he reviews each region of the country, lists and provides excerpts from prose and poetry, and offers notes on selected Italian authors. Garrett has also contributed to the "Cities of the Imagination" series with his Venice: A Cultural and Literary Companion and Cambridge: A Cultural and Literary History.


Garrett's volumes for the "British Library Writers' Lives" series include George Gordon, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, and Mary Shelley. The series is written for high school-age readers, and the brief books are lavishly illustrated. Times Literary Supplement contributor Alethea Hayter noted that the book about the Brownings is written in an interview format, and commented that Robert Browning "would have hated it. He mistrusted the whole business of biography." His wife, on the other hand, thought that writing about people's lives was fine, as long as the writing wasn't about living people like herself. Hayter concluded that "general readers who have not previously come across the Brownings may be captivated by their personalities as they are glimpsed in this book, and inspired by it to read their letters and biographies about them."

The subject of Mary Shelley is best known as the author of the novel Frankenstein. Garrett's volume is written "in an inviting, engaging format," according to Library Journal reviewer Ron Ratliff. In his book Garrett recounts Shelley's life as the daughter of writers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, her sharing of her parents' strong support of women's rights and social justice, her romance and marriage to Percy Bysshe Shelley, the deaths of three of their four children during infancy, and Percy's death. The volume includes diary entries, letters, and illustrations.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, February, 1992, J. S. Carducci, review of Massinger: The Critical Heritage, p. 895.

History Today, November, 2004, Robert Pearce, review of Cambridge: A Cultural and Literary History, p. 86.

Library Association Record, January, 1998, Jean Plaister, review of Sidney: The Critical Heritage, p. 40.

Library Journal, January, 2003, Ron Ratliff, review of Mary Shelley, p. 110.

Notes and Queries, June, 1993, Gordon McMullan, review of Massinger, p. 248.

Reference Reviews, Volume 13, issue 1, 1999, David Harrison, review of Traveller's Literary Companion to Italy, p. 46.

Review of English Studies, May, 1996, Paul Cartledge, review of Greece: A Literary Companion, pp. 308-309.

School Library Journal, February, 2001, Herman Sutter, review of George Gordon, Lord Byron, p. 132; February, 2002, Pat Bender, review of Elizabeth Browning and Robert Barrett Browning, p. 144; February, 2003, Karen Hoth, review of Mary Shelley, p. 160.

Seventeenth-Century News, spring-summer, 1993, review of Massinger, pp. 15-16.

Spectator, March 26, 1994, Peter Levi, review of Greece, pp. 34-35.

Times Literary Supplement, June 3, 1994, review of Greece, p. 32; November 10, 2000, Alethea Hayter, review of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning; September 21, 2001, Roderick Conway Morris, review of Venice: A Cultural and Literary Companion.*

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