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Vibrant with Words The Letters of Ursula Bethell
Edited by Peter Whiteford

"To date, no full-length biography has been published; these letters (few of which have ever been published before) allow her to tell her own life story, in a narration that can be earnestly solemn or gaily witty, that records moments of joy and of sorrow, but that emerges finally as an intensely moving account of one woman's attempt to come to terms with the grief that dominated her final years. With their extensive annotations, they give us an unrivalled picture of this significant woman, and her attitudes to life and literature."

Ursula Bethell (1874-1945) stands at the beginning of modern poetry in New Zealand. This rich collection of letters provides us with much evidence of her 'writerly' life and the origins of her poems. It also tells the moving personal story of an early life of travel and social work followed by happy years in Rise Cottage with her companion Effie Pollen; and of the devastating effect of the younger woman's sudden death, which left Bethell, as she wrote, 'a tree struck by lightning -- dead'.

Paperback, 2005, 379 pages, good condition

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