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Seeking a Country: Literary Autobiographies of Twentieth-Century Irishwomen (review)

Seeking a Country: Literary Autobiographies of Twentieth-Century Irishwomen (review) 07-reviews (Bio 26-3) 9/4/03 8:23 AM Page 483 Reviews 483 broad enough sample in order to inform valid conclusions? The author admits that the eighty testimonies are simply those that he could acquire, rather than representing a carefully constructed sample. Secondly, the net could, and perhaps should, have been thrown wider. Very many Royal Naval memoirs and diaries have been published in limited editions, often private- ly, and a search in the local library of the small town in which this reviewer lives revealed five not used in this survey. Some major repositories, such as the Liddle Collection in the University of Leeds, would surely have brought more material to the author’s notice. Other problems are those of which the author is well aware. The men in question lived in an age when the heart was not worn on the sleeve, and certain personal dignities were preserved and honored. The reminiscences are mostly guarded and self-censored. Occa- sionally an old seaman has metaphorically unbuttoned for the interviewer allowing McKee to indulge in the sort of salacious and prurient material for which the reader pines, notably Plumber First Class William (Jock) Batters’s story of his own sexual education, and Writer http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Seeking a Country: Literary Autobiographies of Twentieth-Century Irishwomen (review)

Biography , Volume 26 (3) – Oct 30, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

07-reviews (Bio 26-3) 9/4/03 8:23 AM Page 483 Reviews 483 broad enough sample in order to inform valid conclusions? The author admits that the eighty testimonies are simply those that he could acquire, rather than representing a carefully constructed sample. Secondly, the net could, and perhaps should, have been thrown wider. Very many Royal Naval memoirs and diaries have been published in limited editions, often private- ly, and a search in the local library of the small town in which this reviewer lives revealed five not used in this survey. Some major repositories, such as the Liddle Collection in the University of Leeds, would surely have brought more material to the author’s notice. Other problems are those of which the author is well aware. The men in question lived in an age when the heart was not worn on the sleeve, and certain personal dignities were preserved and honored. The reminiscences are mostly guarded and self-censored. Occa- sionally an old seaman has metaphorically unbuttoned for the interviewer allowing McKee to indulge in the sort of salacious and prurient material for which the reader pines, notably Plumber First Class William (Jock) Batters’s story of his own sexual education, and Writer

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 30, 2003

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