The New York Times Book Review (essay date 1906)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Smart Society," in The New York Times Book Review, November, 1906, 771 p.

[In the following review, the critic reacts negatively to Glyn's Beyond the Rocks, citing the novel's "moral atmosphere" as "decidely unwholesome."]

Elinor Glyn's new story, Beyond the Rocks, (Harper,) furnishes another of those saddening pictures of smart society for which she is already responsible to the number of two or three, though it has always been British smart society whose unseemliness she exposed. "Exposed" is perhaps not the best word, either, because one does not gather from the author's method of telling her story that she has the slightest idea of criticising the morals or manners of the set of people of whom she writes or of impressing her readers with their urgent need of missionaries. They are not labeled as bohemians, or free-thinkers, or eccentrics of any kind, but just exhibited as the ordinary run of nice (?) English men and women, pursuing their ordinary tactics in the game of life, but it strikes one looking at them from the provincial, and perhaps narrow-minded, Western shore of the Atlantic that they are hardly fit to associate with. One wonders if English people like the decidedly shady version of themselves which will get abroad through the medium of Mrs. Glyn's book, entirely without intention on her part, apparently.

But that is not the worst thing about Beyond the Rocks. The whole moral atmosphere of the book is of a decidedly unwholesome and vitiated character, since it not only condones the weaknesses and worse of its several characters, but actually expects us to accept them at their own valuation and rejoice in the combination of circumstances that landed the hero and heroine safely "beyond the rocks." though barely in time to save their reputations. At the opening of the story Theodora Fitzgerald has married a dreadful...

(The entire section is 799 words.)

The New York Times Saturday Review of Books (essay date 1909)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mrs. Glyn's Ideas of America", in The New York Times Saturday Review of Books, May 22, 1909, 321 p.

[In the following review, the critic praises Glyn's novel Elizabeth Visits America, but accuses Glyn of pandering to the American public with her portrayals of Americans.]

Mrs. Elinor Glyn has made a book about her recent visit to the United States of America following upon the splutter and splash among the talkative and unsophisticated which was caused by the spectacular plunge of her lady of the famous tiger skin into public notice. To be sure, readers trained in the French school of scandal found it a dull Three Weeks, for all the black...

(The entire section is 1046 words.)

Arnold Bennett (essay date 1917)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mrs. Elinor Glyn", in Books and Persons: Being Comments on a Past Epoch, George H. Doran and Company, 1911, pp. 271-277.

[In the following essay, Bennett praises Glyn's novel His Hour, describing it as "magnificently sexual."]

After all, the world does move. I never thought to be able to congratulate the Circulating Libraries on their attitude towards a work of art; and here in common fairness I, who have so often animadverted upon their cowardice, am obliged to laud their courage. The instant cause of this is Mrs. Elinor Glyn's new novel, His Hour. Everybody who cares for literature knows, or should know, Mrs. Glyn's fine carelessness of...

(The entire section is 1377 words.)

Raymond Mortimer (essay date 1923)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "A Review", in The New Statesman: A Weekly Review of Politics and Literature, Vol. XXI, May, 1923, pp. 144-146.

[In the following essay, Mortimer praises Glyn's ability to treat scandalous material, and calls her novel The Great Moment "a sociological phenomenon."]

David Garnett and Elinor Glyn! Some like one, and some like the other, but is it not ridiculous to say that Mrs. Glyn's work is inferior to Mr. Garnett's? As well protest that the Hammam Turkish Baths are not so good as the operas of Mozart! Lady into Fox is a work of art (I take Mr. Garnett as an example because he has gained his reputation, not by splitting psychological hairs, but by...

(The entire section is 1512 words.)

Norman Douglas (essay date 1925)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Fiction", in Experiments, Robert M. McBride and Company, 1925, pp. 23-32.

[In the following essay, Douglas provides a plot summary of Glyn's novel The Sequence and praises Glyn's ability to write of events considered shocking—particularly sexuality—without being crude.]

The Sequence is a simple tale. Guinevere, at the age of seventeen, is forced into a loveless marriage with a stern soldier twice, or possibly thrice, her own age. She is an old-fashioned, refined, and misunderstood female with "a demure air and a rebellious gleam in her eyes"—she lives in a state of trembling sensibility and in abject terror of her grumpy old male. So...

(The entire section is 1068 words.)

Isabel Paterson (essay date 1937)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "A Review", in The New York Herald Tribune Books, v. 13, January 24, 1937, 13 p.

[In the following essay, Paterson praises Glyn's autobiography Romantic Adventure.]

The tiger skin was real. Readers who like to know whether or not a novel is "true" will be glad to check up on this historic item by turning to page 127 of Mrs. Glyn's autobiography [Romantic Adventure], in which she Tells All. They may, however, be a trifle disappointed by the innocent comedy of the facts. During the summer of 1902 Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Glyn made a brief sojourn in Lucerne. "The setting was ideally romantic," but Mr. Glyn apparently took scenery for granted, and...

(The entire section is 1298 words.)

Anthony Glyn (essay date 1955)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Elinor Glyn: A Biography, Hutchinson, 1955, 356 p.

[In the following excerpt, Glyn provides a biographical survey of Glyn's film screenplays.]

It is difficult now, more than thirty years later, to recreate the extraordinary topsy-turvy atmosphere of Hollywood in 1920. The lusty young film industry, only a few years old, was finding its feet and was full of boisterous self-confidence. Everyone connected with the studios was firmly convinced that he or she knew all about everything, even ways of life far removed from his own, confirmed in this belief by the large box-office returns brought in even by the primitive silent films then being made.


(The entire section is 9883 words.)