Welcome to this cyberplace, set up as a space for news and reviews of A Gentleman of Pleasure and occasional jottings about John Glassco. Five years have now passed since publication, and I've moved on to other projects, but I'm leaving this up with the thought that those drawn to Glassco's writing will find something of interest.

06 March 2011

Glassco Meets Leon Edel and Reads Henry James

Though most of John Glassco's library – some 526 books – was sold to Queen's University a couple of years after his death, items do show up from time to time. Of those I've managed to pick up, Telling Lives (New Republic, 1979), a collection of essays on modern biography, is an obvious favourite. It's made all the more interesting by Leon Edel's inscription to Glassco and his second wife Marion McCormick.

Glassco and Edel first met in 1925 at McGill University – the old Student Union cafeteria to be precise – and maintained what might best be termed an acquaintanceship that extended into the period covered in Memoirs of Montparnasse. After Glassco's 1931 return to Montreal, the two lost all contact. It wasn't until the late 'fifties, with the poet emergence from semi-reclusiveness, that their friendship truly began. By this point, Edel had already published Henry James: The Untried Years, the first in his five-volume biography of the American-born master.

An admirer of James, Glassco had at least four pieces of Jamesiana in his library – most tied in some way to his friend Edel. Curiously, not one made it into the collection that was bought by Queen's. These are they. Cliquer pour agrandir.

Ten Short Stories of Henry James
Henry James
London: John Lehmann, 1948

The American Essays
Henry James
New York: Vintage, 1956

Stories of the Supernatural
Henry James
New York: Taplinger, 1980

Henry James in Westminster Abbey: The Address by Leon Edel
Leon Edel
Honolulu: Petronium Press, 1976

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