Adam Mars-Jones

It Simply Won’t Do

Auden in Love

By Dorothy J Farnan

Faber 264pp £9.95 order from our bookshop

Dorothoy met Chester Kallman in 1941, when they were both students at the University of Michigan; later she married his father. Her position as an emotional biographer of W H Auden is therefore one of privilege, since she had both a hectic friendship with the man who had preeminent claim on Auden’s affections, and a more leisurely chance to see how the Auden-Kallman relationship worked itself out. The limitations of her point of view, and the difficulties she makes for herself, more than outweigh her natural advantages.

Sara Stewart


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