Dorothy Richardson's thirteen-volume Pilgrimage is crowded with references from the last decade of the Victorian era and the first decade of the twentieth century. The interests of the protagonist Miriam Henderson are wide-ranging, from ecology to economics, from fiction to philosophy, from the mores of the family to the morals of the nation. Pilgrimage's stream-of-consciousness narrative evokes these references and interests in elusive, complex ways. Even accomplished readers, following in the wake of the heroine's personal revelations, are hard-pressed to understand aspects of the more public scene from turn-of-the-century England.
Notes on 'Pilgrimage', by identifying historical persons, events, ideas, quotations and writings that underpin Richardson's story, illuminates these factual details and enriches understanding of the narrative. A translation of all foreign words and phrases, a record of textual misprints and a thorough index add to the value of the book.
Professor Thomson has for many years studied one of British literature's most challenging, most rewarding, most underestimated masterpieces. Notes on 'Pilgrimage': Dorothy Richardson Annotated is the culmination of that splendid research.
This new book complements Thomson's 1996 A Reader's Guide to Dorothy Richardson's 'Pilgrimage', an account of the time scheme and a precise chronology of events, with characters placed in context through a descriptive directory. Together Notes on 'Pilgrimage' and A Reader's Guide to Dorothy Richardson's 'Pilgrimage' make a lasting contribution to the study of Dorothy Richardson and will be asked for by students and scholars for decades to come.