Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NamePercy LUBBOCK CBE
Birth1879
Death1965
FatherFrederic LUBBOCK (1844-1927)
MotherCatherine GURNEY (1848-1934)
Marriage1926
SpouseLady Sybil Marjorie CUFFE
Birth1879
Death1943
Notes for Percy LUBBOCK CBE
Percy Lubbock, CBE (4 June 1879 – 1 August 1965) was an English man of letters, known as an essayist, critic and biographer.

Life

Percy Lubbock was the son of the merchant banker Frederic Lubbock and his wife Catherine, daughter of John Gurney of Earlham Hall, Norfolk. Earlham, his memoir of childhood summer holidays spent at his maternal grandfather's home was to win him the James Tait Black Memorial Prizein 1922. He was brought up at Emmetts near Ide Hill in Kent.[1] He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.

He lived at Gli Scafari, a villa on the Gulf of Spezia designed by Cecil Pinsent.[3] Towards the end of his life he went blind. Well-placed socially, his intellectual connections included his Cambridge contemporary E. M. Forster, Edith Wharton ( he was a member of her Inner Circle from about 1906), Howard Sturgis and Bernard Berenson. Other Cambridge friends included the singer Clive Carey.

Writing

He reviewed, anonymously in the columns of the Times Literary Supplement, significant modern novels including Forster's Howards End. His 1921 book The Craft of Fiction ('the official textbook of the Modernist aesthetics of indirection'[4]) became a straw man for writers including Forster, Virginia Woolf and Graham Greene, who disagreed with his rather formalist view of the novel. Wayne Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction[5] considers that Lubbock's take on the craft of Henry James was in fact schematizing and formal, if systematic, with a flattening effect.

Marriage

In 1926 he married[6] in 1926 Sybil Scott, née Lady Sybil Marjorie Cuffe, making him stepfather to the writer Iris Origo. Sybil was daughter of the Irish peer Hamilton John Agmondesham Cuffe, 5th Earl of Desart, and a widow after the 1910 young death of her first husband William Bayard Cutting, from tuberculosis. Her second husband had been Geoffrey Scott, another of the Berenson circle. Lubbock's terminal coldness with Edith Wharton, from 1933, was occasioned by some unexplained factor concerning this marriage.

Henry James

He was a good friend of Henry James in James's later life, and became a follower in literary terms, and his editor after his death. Later scholars have questioned editorial decisions he made in publishing the James letters in 192, at a time when many of those concerned were still alive. Mark Schorer, in his introduction to a reprint of Lubbock's The Craft of Fiction, described him as "more Jamesian than James".
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