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Sir Desmond Maccarthy Sir Charles Otto Desmond Maccarthy Biography

(1878–1952), Sir Charles Otto Desmond Maccarthy, New Statesman, Sunday Times

English critic and journalist, born in Plymouth, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was closely associated with the Bloomsbury Group, though not of its inner circle. He served with the Red Cross during the First World War, and was knighted in 1951. Throughout his journalistic career he edited a number of periodicals, including the New Statesman, for which he also wrote articles under the pseudonym ‘Affable Hawk’; he was also a principal book reviewer for the London Sunday Times. An early book, The Court Theatre 1904–1907: A Commentary and a Criticism (1907), provides a valuable record of the famous Harley Granville-Barker seasons, which also included première productions of Bernard Shaw's plays. MacCarthy also wrote portraits of Shaw, Henry James, Conrad, and Leslie Stephen (father of V. Woolf), among others. Undoubtedly one of the most entertaining and perceptive of critics, his collections of essays, reviews, and reminiscences include Portraits (1931), Criticism (1932), Experience (1935), Drama (1940), Shaw's Plays in Review (1951), Memories (1953), Humanities (1954), and Theatre (1955).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Earl Lovelace Biography to Madmen and Specialists