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The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 1: 1855-1894

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and William F. Halloran
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-500-5 £22.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-501-2 £34.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78374-502-9 £0.00
epub ISBN: 978-1-78374-503-6 £5.99
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What an achievement! It is a major work. The letters taken together with the excellent introductory sections - so balanced and judicious and informative - what emerges is an amazing picture of William Sharp the man and the writer which explores just how fascinating a figure he is. Clearly a major reassessment is due and this book could make it happen.

Andrew Hook, Emeritus Bradley Professor of English and American Literature, Glasgow University

The three volumes of the Sharp/Macleod letters edited by William F. Halloran mark a major intervention in our understanding of Sharp, shedding light on his life, on his literary networks, and on Macleod’s literary development. Through decades of research and his detailed editorial apparatus (including lengthy introductions to each year of Sharp’s life), Halloran not only contextualises the surviving letters but unlocks and interprets many otherwise opaque details within them, such as Sharp’s coded references to his muse and the inspiration for Macleod, the writer Edith Wingate Rinder. As such, these volumes provide the most detailed portrait available on Sharp, his networks and movements, and how Fiona Macleod came to be.

Michael Shaw, University of Stirling, "Moulding A Persona: The Life and Letters of William Sharp and Fiona Macleod," Studies in Scottish Literature, Vol. 47: Iss. 1, 178–181.

The three volumes of William Sharp’s letters are "meticulously and fully annotated, handsomely produced and illustrated.  For each "Chapter” of letters (delineated by years or parts of years), Halloran writes a biographical essay, drawing on the letters and their notes and the memoir of Sharp by his wife, to write in effect a new and compelling, if narrowly sourced, biography of Sharp. Halloran includes biographical readings of works by Sharp and Macleod and the narratives move along smartly and lucidly, helping to give the letters their context and to flesh out Sharp and his times. Any student of late Victorian England will benefit from immersion in Sharp’s life and letters.

Terry L. Meyers, The College of William and Mary, Nineteenth-Century Prose, Volume 49, Number 1, Spring 2022.

William Sharp (1855-1905) conducted one of the most audacious literary deceptions of his or any time. Sharp was a Scottish poet, novelist, biographer and editor who in 1893 began to write critically and commercially successful books under the name Fiona Macleod. This was far more than just a pseudonym: he corresponded as Macleod, enlisting his sister to provide the handwriting and address, and for more than a decade "Fiona Macleod" duped not only the general public but such literary luminaries as William Butler Yeats and, in America, E. C. Stedman.

Sharp wrote "I feel another self within me now more than ever; it is as if I were possessed by a spirit who must speak out". This three-volume collection brings together Sharp’s own correspondence – a fascinating trove in its own right, by a Victorian man of letters who was on intimate terms with writers including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Pater, and George Meredith – and the Fiona Macleod letters, which bring to life Sharp’s intriguing "second self".

With an introduction and detailed notes by William F. Halloran, this richly rewarding collection offers a wonderful insight into the literary landscape of the time, while also investigating a strange and underappreciated phenomenon of late-nineteenth-century English literature. It is essential for scholars of the period, and it is an illuminating read for anyone interested in authorship and identity.

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 1: 1855-1894
William F. Halloran | November 2018
710 | 18 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783745005
ISBN Hardback: 9781783745012
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783745029
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783745036
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783745043
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783746606
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0142
Categories: BIC: BJ (Diaries, letters and journals), DS (Literature: history and criticism), DSK (Literary studies: fiction, novelists and prose writers), DSC (Literary studies: poetry and poets), 3JH (c. 1800 to c. 1900); BISAC: BIO007000 (BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary Figures), BIO025000 (BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Editors, Journalists, Publishers), HIS015060 (HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901)), LCO011000 (LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Letters); OCLC Number: 1105780601.

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Chapter One: 1855–1881
Chapter Two: 1882–1884
Chapter Three: 1885–1886
Chapter Four: 1887–1888
Chapter Five: 1889
Chapter Six: 1890
Chapter Seven: 1891
Chapter Eight: 1892a
Chapter Nine: 1892b
Chapter Ten: 1893
Chapter Eleven: 1894

List of Illustrations
William F. Halloran is an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he served for twenty-five years as Dean of the College of Letters and Science.  His teaching, research, and publications have focused on British writers of the early and later Nineteenth Century. He became interested in the phenomenon of William Sharp ("Fiona Macleod”) in 1960, and for nearly six decades he has been assembling, transcribing, and editing copies of his letters owned by libraries and private collectors in the United Kingdom and the United States.