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$15.59
1. Five Novels
 
2. 5 Novels by Ronald Firbank
$22.00
3. Ronald Firbank: An Annotated Bibliography
$9.56
4. 3 More Novels: Vainglory, Inclinations,
 
5. A Bibiography of Ronald Firbank
6. The Complete Firbank (Picador
 
$18.45
7. Frivolity Unbound: Six Masters
 
8. Ronald Firbank (Twayne's English
$22.60
9. Valmouth and Other Novels (Penguin
 
10. Ronald Firbank: A memoir
 
$25.00
11. Ronald Firbank
12. A bibliography of the first editions
 
13. Ronald Firbank (Columbia Essays
14. Ronald Firbank
 
$109.95
15. Critical Essays on Ronald Firbank,
$0.74
16. Caprice (The New Directions Bibelots)
 
$75.82
17. The Early Firbank
18. Three Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
$1.49
19. Valmouth and Other Stories (Wordsworth
 
$12.95
20. The Flower beneath the Foot (Modern

1. Five Novels
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 384 Pages (1981-05-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$15.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811207994
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Firbank, Five Novels. Part high-camp comedy of manners and part fairy tale. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars For An Exhaustive Study on Firbank's Novels...
As has been pointed out by the other reviewers, Firbank is an excellent writer.I have found his books difficult to locate, until I finally got online and discovered Amazon -- what a wonderful book store this is!I just want to mention, for those who enjoy solid, informative and entertaining literary criticism, there is a magnificent study of Firbank's Works: PRANCING NOVELIST -- IN PRAISE OF RONALD FIRBANK, by Brigid Brophy (Macmillan 1973).I reproduce the text from the front inside-flap:

"Brigid Brophy's study of Ronald Firbank must be one of the most penetrating and sympathetic explorations ever undertaken by one writer into the mind of another.The title PRANCING NOVELIST incarnates the book's dual purpose.Miss Brophy seeks to vindicate the eternal liveliness of fiction as a form, against widespread rumours that it has died; and she seeks to do so by way of rescuing Ronald Firbank from the dismissive epithet of 'minor'.

"Pursuing his development from 'mauve into fauve', PRANCING NOVELIST establishes Firbank as the writer who discovered fiction's way out from the Victorian impasse of naturalism. It anatomises his original imagist technique; analyses the firm, baroque structure of his major creations; and discerns in his famous giggle the cry of a haunted imagination.

"Miss Brophy's intention i serious but at the same time she has found in her study of Firbank an infectious enjoyment which readers, whether they are already admirers of Ronald Firbank's work or merely potential converts, cannot fail to share.

"Why was Ada Leverson 'not at home' when Ronald Firbank called in mauve trousers?For what sad reason was the champagneat an undergraduate dinner too old?Had Firbank a phobia of mice?The answers emerge in this always entertaining and stimulating book."

Of especial interest to me was the first portion of Part Three, in which is discussed the importance of Oscar Wilde in the life and Work of Roanld Firbank.This is a delicious critical biography.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only In England
Firbank's name is now largely forgotten. Admired by Edmund Wilson, and read by the best of his contemporary English satirists, he carved out a special and unique niche. These novels are about as close to 'purple prose' as it's possible for fine literature to get without slipping into bathos. The stories range from the sublimely silly and devious, as in "The Eccentricities" with it's striking similarities to Norman Douglas' "South Wind", to the allegorical tales that call to mind the odd quirkiness of the French novelist Roussel.
Firbank's major limitation was always a general and consistent lack of any balancing perspective or straight forwardness. His fastidously over the top flights of prose fancy desparately call for a grounding that never occurs. At his best, as in the baptism scene beginning the Eccentricities, Firbank's brilliance overcomes these limitations - he approaches the artistic level of a Waugh. However, all too often his fussiness and self-indulgence overwhelm the best interests of his novels. His extraordinarily convoluted, elliptical and parallel plotting only makes things more difficult. Sans the brilliant hard-nosed poetic realism grounding the fussiness of a Nabokov, Firbank's books stagnate. An overt reticence to call things as they are doesn't help. Way too much in Firbank ends up half-said, vague or furtive. Endless snatches of gossip and/or broken dialogues irreparably rend any sustainable plot.
Firbank wrote his later books with a fastidiousness perhaps unequalled in all fiction, writing single sentences on large cards, instead of paragraghs on sheets of paper.(Steinbeck, in contrast, used legal paper, filling single pages with thousands of tiny nearly undecipherable words.) Firbanks's calligraphy was quite as important to him as the thoughts behind the words.This gives a hothouse tone to each over-written sentence, and weakens plot-lines already streched beyond all reason.
If this sounds harsh, perhaps it's because I think Firbank could have been a much better novelist. His refusal to face life squarely may be understandable, but he never really overcomes self-inflicted limitations.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 fractured fables by Firbank
Ronald Firbank, whose forty-year lifespan (1886-1926) covers a particularly bountiful era of English prose artistry, is so eccentrically individual an author he almost seems to be a creature invented by Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear.His five short novels, collected in this New Directions Paperback edition, are utterly unclassifiable; no genre suggests itself when they are being read.His prose, as fastidiously styled as a coiffured poodle, as twee as an afternoon tea, is bewilderingly florid even beyond the standards of his contemporaries.With the descriptive proclivities of an interior decorator, he paints with all the colors on the palette; an orchid is not just an orchid but a "rose-lipped" orchid with a "lilac beard."England had not seen lyrical flamboyance like this since Oscar Wilde a quarter century before, and would not see it again until the ascendance of Freddie Mercury a half century later.

But Firbank's writing is not just fancy window dressing.His stories may look like fairy tales because of the whimsical characters and settings, but his narrative technique fractures the linearity of the plots by focusing on external details.In "The Flower Beneath the Foot," for example, the subject of the conversation in the first few pages is not immediately apparent, but disclosure gradually occurs over the course of the following chapters: His Weariness the Prince Yousef's mother, the Queen of some mythical Arabesque realm called the Land of Dates, disapproves of her son's desire to marry the humble convent-dwelling Mademoiselle de Nazianzi instead of Princess Elsie of England.Not until the final paragraph does Firbank dispel the story's genteel facade to reveal a passionately beating, and broken, heart.

Firbank's characters are garish works of art, most of them either impossibly frivolous nobles of theatrically exaggerated primness or paupers with pride and dignity.As in "The Flower Beneath the Foot," a common theme is star-crossed love, a romance between two people of different social stations.This love can be interracial, as it is in "Valmouth," a British colony with a climate so salubrious that the inhabitants live well over a hundred years, as well as in another novel with an evidently Caribbean setting and a controversial title which I refrain from typing so as not to have to wrestle with the Amazon censorship filter.Infatuation can also be grotesque, as it is in "The Artificial Princess," whose heroine, reluctantly betrothed to a foreign Crown Prince, unwittingly encounters the Devil on the night of her debut.

Firbank, one of the first of many English Catholic writers to emerge in the twentieth century, is comfortable setting one of his novels in Spain."Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" is self-explanatory, as the good cardinal, who allows aristocratic dogs to be baptized as a favor to wealthy patrons and disguises himself in the street as laity of either gender, risks being defrocked by the Roman church for his perceived sacrileges.

This is humor, but of a less obvious sort; unlike P.G. Wodehouse, who made a handsome living with his comical portraits of the upper class, Firbank doesn't target a specific group of people or stratum of society, nor does he seem interested in such petty substantiality.His fiction, insulated in a world unscarred by war and populated by dainty animated dolls, is an idyllic extension of reality, somehow a reminder of the limitless expanse of literature where formulas lose their validity and time stands still.Toss aside all your preconceptions, because these novellas will surprise you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Firbank anthology out there
Firbank is seldom considered a serious novelist, or a major literary modernist. It's easy to see why he's underrated; most of his writings are quite brief, and infused with a daring sense of high camp. But Firbank's terse narration and elliptical dialogue require as much sophistication from readers as the novels of James Joyce or Virginia Woolf.

This anthology contains most of Firbank's best work -- the outrageous _Flower Beneath the Foot_, the sublimely scabrous _Valmouth_, and his rueful final novel _Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli_. (Cardinal Pirelli, a closeted boy-lover, is probably the single strongest character in all of Firbank's fiction.) Even at his campiest, Firbank acknowledges the possibility of tragedy -- and this awareness distinguishes his novels from mere social whimsy.

The absence of _Caprice_ from this particular collection is a bit of a letdown, because this short novel is probably the best introduction to Firbank's skewed world view. (On a separate note, the regrettably racist title _Prancing N----r_ was not Firbank's own. Firbank actually called the novel _Sorrow in Sunlight_, and his American admirer Carl Van Vechten retitled the book to titillate U.S. audiences. Although Van Vechten's gambit worked, and _Prancing N----r_ was the only one of Firbank's novels to achieve substantial U.S. sales during his lifetime, the original British title is much better, and ought to be restored.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff.
Some of these novels are incredibly funny -- _Vainglory_, in particular, is a comic masterpiece. Firbank had a skill for writing fools' dialogue: imagine an Austen character who always says the wrong thing at the wrongtime, then imagine a novel populated exclusively by these types.

Ofcourse, this all gets a little tiring after a while. Firbank seems to havebeen a fervid misanthrope, and I can't think of an appealing character inany of these novels. Still, they're great, quick reads -- perfect, I wouldsay, to pass the time while on vacation, or sick in bed. ... Read more


2. 5 Novels by Ronald Firbank
by Ronald FIRBANK
 Hardcover: Pages (1950)

Asin: B001K87TIM
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3. Ronald Firbank: An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Materials, 1905-1995 (The Dalkey Archive Bibliography Series, 3)
by Steven Moore
Paperback: 154 Pages (1996-06)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$22.00
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Asin: 156478133X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Following the much-deserved rediscovery of early modernistRonald Firbank's works in the 1980s, this annotated bibliography collectsreviews of the satirist's books, synopses of books and essays aboutFirbank, references to creative works inspired by the author,dissertation and theses abstracts, and even a chapter of foreign-languagematerials devoted to Firbank. Showcasing an underappreciated artist, thisbibliography is a record of how Ronald Firbank has been misinterpreted,praised, lost, and found again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Correction and an Offer
Due to a production error, the final line of my preface was cut off. It should read "... date due to a surge of new material." If you like, send me your copy and I'll handwrite the missing line and autographthe book gratis. E-mail me at smoore3@worldnet.att.net. ... Read more


4. 3 More Novels: Vainglory, Inclinations, Caprice (New Directions Paperbook)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 425 Pages (1986-04)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081120975X
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5. A Bibiography of Ronald Firbank (Soho Bibliographies)
by Miriam J. Benkovitz
 Hardcover: 322 Pages (1982-03-11)
list price: US$59.00
Isbn: 0198181884
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6. The Complete Firbank (Picador Classics)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 768 Pages (1988-01-08)

Isbn: 0330298712
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7. Frivolity Unbound: Six Masters of the Camp Novel, Thomas Love Peacock, Max Beerbohm, Ronald Firbank, E.F. Benson, P.G. Wodehouse, Ivy Compton-Burnet (Literature and Life)
by Robert F. Kiernan
 Hardcover: 178 Pages (1990-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$18.45
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Asin: 0826404650
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8. Ronald Firbank (Twayne's English Authors Series 93)
by James Douglas Merritt
 Hardcover: 148 Pages (1969)

Asin: B0006CZ78W
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9. Valmouth and Other Novels (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 256 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$22.60
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Asin: 0140180559
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Her ladyship languishes on the jaguar-skin sofa, robed in pyjamas; a negro boy roams the gold city streets, searching for a shabet but dreaming of butterflies; there, encased in a chasuble, his Eminence baptises the Duquesa DunEden. These are scenes from the novels featured in this collection. ... Read more


10. Ronald Firbank: A memoir
by Ifan Kyrle Fletcher
 Hardcover: Pages (1930)

Asin: B0006EBO5K
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11. Ronald Firbank
by M.J. Benkovitz
 Hardcover: 336 Pages (1970-01-29)
-- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0297000241
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12. A bibliography of the first editions of books by Arthur Annesley Ronald Firbank (1886-1926)
by Percy H Muir
Hardcover: 8 Pages (1927)

Asin: B0008BTNHW
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13. Ronald Firbank (Columbia Essays on Modern Writers, 43)
by Edward M. Potoker
 Paperback: 48 Pages (1970-06)
list price: US$7.50
Isbn: 0231031688
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14. Ronald Firbank
Hardcover: 250 Pages (1977-06)

Isbn: 0715607634
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15. Critical Essays on Ronald Firbank, English Novelist, 1886-1926 (Mellen Studies in Literature. English and American Studies, V. 38)
 Hardcover: 215 Pages (2004-02)
list price: US$109.95 -- used & new: US$109.95
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Asin: 0773465553
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This international collection of critical essays addresses Firbank's fiction from a variety of perspectives. The essays cover the full range of Firbank's fictional output and include pieces on Vainglory, Odette D'Antrevernes, Inclinations, Sorrow in Sunlight, The Flower Beneath the Foot and Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli. The minor writings are also addressed. The collection seeks to establish Firbank as a novelist who is more important to the development of literary modernism than his current reputation as a minor cult figure suggests. ... Read more


16. Caprice (The New Directions Bibelots)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 92 Pages (1993-04)
list price: US$5.00 -- used & new: US$0.74
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Asin: 0811212432
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Early Work of a Literary Innovator
To begin with the bad:

I can't beat a drum for everyone to read CAPRICE.None of the characters aroused empathy in me.Not a single wrenching emotion is to be found in the pages.Plus, the plot seems thin.And yet .. . .

And yet there are those who consider Ronald Firbank a seminalcontributor to the transition of novels from Victorian to modern mode. During the early 1920's he was considered one of the avant garde.All hisnovels except one he published himself, the price for preferring his owntaste over the public's.Traces of his innovative approach can be found inthe novels of Anges Wilson, Anthony Powell, Evelyn Waugh, and I.Compton-Burnett.

CAPRICE could be subtitled: The Rise and Fall of SaraSinquier.In short, the consequences of a young woman pursuing atheatrical career.One of the back cover puffs--those laudatory clipsintended to convince a prospective reader the book is worthopening--praises the work as unobscure, 'classical'.The praise alludes tothe difficulties his style usually imposed on readers.

This noveldisplays characteristics of that seminal style: abrupt transitions, frothydialogue riddled with innuendo, brief paragraphs, well-honed imagery. Firbank's rich vocabulary may require a desk dictionary be handy whilereading him.

He himself was a colorful person: fond of flowers, a foppishdresser, shy, and an incessant traveler.Toward fiction he remained adevoted disciple, compiling in violet ink copious notes for each novel.

Iam somewhat uneasy using the word 'novel' in reference to CAPRICE.Apaperback no larger than a 5x8 index card and less than a hundred pagesthick begs a generous application of the term.Length may not be thesubtlest criteria of a novel but it is the most patent.The further away awork is from the commonly accepted poles of size the more strained theterm's use.A fifty thousand-word fiction can hardly be called a shortstory and a thousand word one a novel.In my opinion CAPRICE barelyqualifies as a novelette.For its size it may well be considered a gem butif one is to call it a novel why then a midget is a short giant. ... Read more


17. The Early Firbank
by Ronald Firbank
 Hardcover: 223 Pages (1991-12)
list price: US$5.98 -- used & new: US$75.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0704327880
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18. Three Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 272 Pages (2000-04-06)

Isbn: 0141182199
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Alan Hollinghurst is a great champion of Firbank's work and writes an introduction to this collection of three of his favourite Firbank novels. ... Read more


19. Valmouth and Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
by Ronald Firbank
Paperback: 288 Pages (1999-12)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$1.49
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Asin: 1853262951
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An ingenuity of characters and dialogue
Ronald Firbank wasn't a big seller in his day, but he has had a large impact on English language fiction. He influenced Evelyn Waugh, Ivy Compton-Burnett and Muriel Spark, among others. And his spirit can be seen in the works of such contemporary novelists as Edmund White and Alan Hollinghurst. Valmouth is his finest work.
Firbank blazed the path away from Naturalism. He did with prose what contemporary artists were doing with paint: fixing an impression oflife rather than making a copy of it. He knows his work is fantasy so he can write beautiful and witty prose about subjects polite people pretend don't exist such as religious mania, bigotry and sex in all its flavors. Although the overall impression of his style is baroque, flowery and often oblique, the writing is really swift and tight. Like Hemingway or Truman Capote, there's not one word, one syllable more than absolutely necessary.
He writes marvelous dialogue. His innovation, I think, is how he captures the silences. A lot of what we understand from conversation comes from what remains unspoken--the pauses, the deflections, the silences. Firbank does the silences. The little sighs, the defensive change of subject, the little joke that hides a deep wound.
All his strengths are presented in abundance in Valmouth. Valmouth is an English seaside resort where the salubrious air promotes extraordinary longevity. Its most industrious citizen is Madame Yaj├▒avalkya, (whom we would identify as South Asian, but everyone calls nig--r) a chiropodist, masseuse, beautician, quack and perhaps procuress. She serves a delightful assortment of fussy dowagers from all levels of the social strata who are obsessed with death, romance, marriage and a particularly exquisite brand of Catholicism.
Valmouth is a short read although not always an easy one. But becoming acquainted with this place where a footman may offer you "an ingenuity of tartlettes" is well worth the effort. ... Read more


20. The Flower beneath the Foot (Modern Classics)
by Ronald Firbank
 Paperback: 128 Pages (1987-04-07)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140088253
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