Q. D. Leavis

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Queenie Dorothy Leavis (7 December 1906 – 17 March 1981), née Roth, was an English literary critic and essayist.

Born in Edmonton, England, she wrote about the historical sociology of reading and the development of the English, the European, and the American novel. She paid particular attention to the writings of Jane Austen, George Eliot, Herman Melville, the Brontës, Edith Wharton and Charles Dickens.

Much of her work was published collaboratively with her husband, F. R. Leavis. She contributed to and supported as an editor Scrutiny (1932-1951), an influential journal that sought to promote a stringent and morally serious approach to literary criticism.

Her collected essays, which include some previously unpublished writing, are available in three volumes.

The mathematician Leonard Roth was her brother.

Partial list of works[edit]

  • Fiction and the Reading Public (1932)
  • Lectures in America (1969, with F. R. Leavis)
  • Dickens, the Novelist (1970, with F. R. Leavis)
  • Collected Essays, Volume 1: The Englishness of the English Novel (1983)
  • Collected Essays, Volume 2: The American Novel and Reflections on the European Novel (1985)
  • Collected Essays, Volume 3: The Novel of Religious Controversy, (1989)

Further reading[edit]

  • P. J. M. Robertson (1981) The Leavises on Fiction: An Historic Partnership (London)