To be published in the UK alongside our edition of Rose Macaulay’s Non-Combatants and Others: Writings Against War on 24 August 2020. We will be publishing our US edition on 17 November 2020.
Potterism is about the Potter newspaper empire, and the ways in which journalists struggled to balance the truth and what would sell, during the First World War and into the 1920s. When Jane and Johnny Potter are at Oxford they learn to despise their father’s popular newspapers, though they still end up working for the family business. But Jane is greedy, and wants more than society will let her have.
The Introduction is by Sarah Lonsdale, senior lecturer in journalism at City University London, and the author of the Introduction to Handheld Press’s best-selling edition of Rose Macaulay’s What Not (2019).
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Others in the Potter newspaper empire are drawn into Jane’s destructive little ways. Mrs Potter is a well-known romantic novelist, whose cheap novelettes appear in the shop-girls’ magazines. She has become unable to distinguish fact from fiction, and her success gives her an unhealthy estimation of her own influence. When she visits a medium to try to find the truth about the murder of her son-in-law, she wreaks terrible damage.
Arthur Gideon works for Mr Potter as an editor. He respects his employer’s honesty while he despises the populist newspapers he has to produce. His turbulent campaigning spirit, and his furious resistance to anti-Semitic attacks, make him unpopular, and becomes an unwitting target of malice.
Subtitled ‘A Tragi-Farcical Tract’, Potterism is satirical, tragic and heart-breaking. It will outrage you, and fill you with sympathy for the victims who suffer under the Potter women’s urge to write.
‘Rose Macaulay’s perceptive post-war observations about the 1920s have great relevance for what we are living through now. Handheld are republishing Potterism in August, and what with ‘woke’ culture and confidence in the media currently undergoing a bit of a wobble, there couldn’t be a more apposite moment to read it.’ – Dove Grey Reader, August 2020
You may also be interested in these books by Rose Macaulay
What Not. A Prophetic Comedy is Rose Macaulay’s 1918 novel of a future eugenicist England, suppressed for potential libel, after which it vanished from sight. This novel was a significant influence on her friend Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
Non-Combatants and Others. Writings Against War, 1916-1945 is an anthology of Macaulay’s excellent First World War pacifist novel, her anti-war journalism from the 1930s and 1940s, and her heart-breaking short story of the Blitz, ‘Miss Anstruther’s Letters’ (to be published August 2020).
Personal Pleasures. Essays on Enjoying Life is Macaulay’s 1935 anthology of essays in which she tells us about the pleasures of her own life. Witty, urbane, ridiculous and delightful, these reveal glimpses of her life as an independent and sociable woman of the 1930s (2021).
Dreaming of Rose. A Biographer’s Journal: Sarah LeFanu’s memoir of researching her biography of Rose Macaulay, while juggling the demands of teaching and broadcasting. For life writers, lovers of biography, and those interested in the nooks and crannies of Macaulay’s life and work. To be published in September 2021 alongside Personal Pleasures.