In Search of Edward John Eyre
Macmillan, 152 pp., $19.95 pb
In this volume, a valued literary companion of long standing has been stripped of two-thirds of its substance, all of its footnotes and bibliography, even acknowledgments; and the remnant, daubed with illustrations, comes out dressed for a different marketplace.
Dutton’s admirable first biography of Eyre – The Hero as Murderer, (1967, Collins/Cheshire) gets no mention here, not even in the blurb on book and author. Yet it is the same author, same subject, same epigraphs, same dedication: and the text, apart from some stringing together, is extracts from the original. Only title, index, extra illustrations, and the publisher are quite new; and there is not one word to inform intending buyers and readers that this book is not new writing published for the first time in 1982.