Shennan, Margaret 1933-
SHENNAN, Margaret 1933-
PERSONAL: Born 1933.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author's Mail, John Murry Publishing, 50 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BD, England.
CAREER: Historian and educator.
The European Dynamic: Aspects of European Expansion, 1450-1715, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1976.
Missee, Kensal Press (Bourne End, England, 1986.
The Devil's Diagonal,, Swallow, 1990.
Teaching about Europe, Cassell (New York, NY), 1991.
The Rise of Brandenburg Prussia, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.
Berthe Morisot, the First Lady of Impressionism, Sutton Publishers (Stroud, England), 1996.
Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya, 1880-1960, John Murray (London, England), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Margaret Shennan has written several history books, ranging in topic from European expansionism to British colonialism in Malaya. Her The Rise of Brandenburg Prussia is a treatise on the Great Elector and his son, King Frederick I, and Frederick William I. In his review for History Review, Graham Darby wrote, "There is little here that cannot be found in work already published, but it is conveniently packaged in a single volume." Gerd Mischler wrote, "Shennan manages to tell her story in a logical and convincing way" in his review for History: Journal of the Historical Association.
Shennan's next book is a biography of Berthe Morisot, the model who sat for Edouard Manet's famous 1870 portrait, "Le Repose." The book is aptly titled BertheMorisot, the First Lady of Impressionism, and in it, Shennan depicts the life of Morisot as a painter. The reader is introduced not only to Morisot's career and its struggles, but also to the painter's politics, commitments, and loveless marriage. In a review of the book for the Spectator, Richard Shone commented, "Shennan is a most sympathetic biographer....She delicately suggests the tensions and frustrations of Morisot's life, balancing her gaiety and melancholy, setting the sensuous self-absorption of the painter against the woman capable of sudden crushing, ironic phrases."
Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya, 1880-1960 is one of Shennan's more recent works. A review in Contemporary Review praised the book, noting: "Here the great sweep of history is mingled with individual memories and stories to give us not only a well-researched history but a superb read." Shennan's presentation of the British experience in Malaya depicts a world that was, until the advent of World War I, primarily one of happiness and contentment. Her book covers the Japanese bombing of Singapore and the chaos that followed. Anthony Milner of the Times Literary Supplement wrote, "The conveying of the experience of the British themselves—including their sense of satisfaction, whether or not it was misplaced—is Margaret Shennan's purpose and achievement. No study I know of has been able to achieve an equally eloquent representation of the experience of the colonial subject."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, October, 1997, M. Hamel-Schwulst, review of Berthe Morisot, the First Lady of Impressionism, p. 287.
Contemporary Review, October, 2000, review of Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya, 1880-1960, p. 249.
History: Journal of the Historical Association, January, 1999, Gerd Mischler, review of The Rise of Brandenburg Prussia, p. 161.
History Review, December, 1996, Graham Darby, review of The Rise of Brandenburg Prussia, p. 51.
Journal of Common Market Studies, September, 1992, Linda Hantrais, review of Teaching about Europe, p. 369.
Spectator, June 3, 2000, Richard Shone, "On the Side of the Angels," p. 39.
Times Literary Supplement, April 12, 2002, Anthony Milner, "Gin Sling and Stengah," p. 26.*