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The Creators

May Sinclair

Book Overview: 

Jane Holland is a genius, the greatest of a group of extraordinary literary friends. She has an intense artistic and intellectual kinship with George Tanqueray, another remarkable novelist. Despite this keen spiritual relationship, both Holland and Tanqueray allow themselves to fall against their wills into more conventional romantic commitments, leading to agonizing crises of heart and mind and art. Another of May Sinclair’s marvelous philosophical novels, this masterpiece explores the great dilemmas of artistic Genius and the obstacles posed to it by Love, by philistine society, by the two-faced allure of popularity, by human jealousy, by the conventions of marriage and family. More deeply, Sinclair here lays bare the excruciating choices required particularly of a woman genius, and the double standards applied to her in a society that allowed so much indulgence to a man considered to have such artistic gifts. Demonic or angelic, curse or blessing, affliction or joy, the involuntary gifting of Genius sets any human being apart from the uncomprehending and judgmental society in which she must live, a condition delineated in “The Creators” with delicate subtlety and fierce passion.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He could give her up to George Tanqueray.


Jane Holland and Tanqueray had left the others some considerable way behind. It was possible, they agreed, to have too much of Nicky, though he did adore them.

The wide high road stood up before them, climbing the ridge, to drop down into Wendover. A white road, between grass borders and hedgerows, their green powdered white with the dust of it. Over all, the pallor of the first white hour of twilight.

For a moment, a blessed pause in the traffic, they were alone; twilight and the road were theirs.

The two bore themselves with a certain physical audacity, a swinging challenge to fatigue. He, in his well-knit youth, walked with the step of some fine, untamed animal. She, at his side, kept the wild pace he set with a smooth motion of her own. She carried, high and processionally, her trophy, flowers from their host's garden, wild parsley of her own gathering, and green fans of beec. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I do not think this is one of May Sinclair’s better novels. It dragged on interminably...for the story it told. 517 pages.

This was an old book, with illustrations (drawn by Arthur I. Keller) and tissue paper in the front (there’s probably a better word for that...it wasn’t Kleenex!). Ha...I found i

Note her best: I found the psychology aspects a little irritating in light of what we now know. As usual though she has produced a monster of a man, I won't say who I thought it was, and some very put-upon women. It ended a little too abruptly for my taste, too.

This is an interesting portrayal of romance, gender roles, and intellectuals. I loved it for a while but it went on to long. The portraits and relationships were too drawn out to hold my interest.

Reading May Sinclair presents some challenges. You have to assume that there’s a reason that she’s obscure and neglected, that others before you have gone beyond Mary Olivier and Harriet Frean and lost momentum somewhere and somehow. The Divine Fire was a good stop, as it was a bestseller and it has