Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)


Department of English


Although I had, like many female readers of my generation, read and re-read Come In Spinner as a teenager in the late 1950s, the book first actively engaged me in 1978 when I assisted in setting up the methodology for a market research project aimed at establishing its viability as a twentieth century film. I went on to research the biography of Florence James, one of the book's co-authors, a task I have been engaged in more intensively since late in 1986. The tentative title of that biography is The 'Spinner Years, for I became increasingly fascinated by the strong influence which the book has had on the life of Florence James herself, and, to a lesser extent, on the lives of her daughters and grand-daughters. It was as if the book had taken on a life of its own and exercised a power which drew others into its net. As Jean-Paul Sartre observed, a book "is an emanation of inter— subjectivity, a living bond of rage, hatred or love between those who have produced it and those who receive it." This dissertation is the immediate result.