[ Margaret Forster reviews Germaine Greer's book on the menopause for the Guardian. ] Autograph fair copy of Forster's Guardian review of Greer's 'The Change', with earlier draft, rough notes, and the marked-up review copy.

Margaret Forster (1938-2016), English novelist and biographer
Publication details: 
The book published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 1991. Autograph material undated, but Forster's review appeared in The Guardian, 24 September 1991.
SKU: 20620

Forster's review (welcoming, but with reservations) was published in the Guardian, 24 September 1991, under the title 'Menopause: mid-life crisis or cause for celebration?', with a subtitle providing a neat summary: 'Is the menopause really, as Germaine Greer argues, “the beginning of the long, gradual change from body into soul”, a woman's reversion to an earlier, happier condition? Margaret Forster assesses her analysis'. The present collection of four items is in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. ONE: Autograph fair copy of Forster's review. 4pp., 8vo. On four leaves. Headed: 'FAX to 071 . 239 . 9935 = Louise Chunn | Guardian Women | from: Margaret Forster – tel/fax = 090 . 085 . 303 | content: Review of The Change by Germaine Greer | date: Sept. 22nd '91 | pages: 4'. The first paragraph reads: 'The last time I saw Germaine Greer was a year ago, at the Edinburgh Book Festival. She looked slim, healthy and was elegantly dressed in black shorts, simple white T-shirt and black jacket. Her hair was loosely clipped, in a slightly girlish but very becoming fashion, behind each ear. I looked at her and thought: good grief, what a change. A change, that is, from when I had last encountered her, three years previously, when she was at least a stone heavier, had her hair dragged into a ferocious bun, and was draped in a voluminous sack of a dress. Now what, thought I, is going on? Is this woman of just-over fifty making sudden determined efforts to look more attractive in an accepted feminine way? Is she striving to defy ageing, trying to reclaim herself from letting herself go?' Forster's answer follows immediately: 'Absolutely not – what a relief. The whole point of Germaine Greer writing this book is that she does not want to defy ageing. She believes that the menopausal age, of around fifty, should be seen as exactly what it is, a time of change. The menopause itself, she argues, is a process which should not be interfered with'. The review ends on a positive note, expressing 'satisfaction that Germaine Greer has hauled [the menopause] into the main arena as a subject worth discussing. For that, I can forgive her anything.' TWO: Autograph rough notes, with page numbers, headed 'The Change'. 2pp., 8vo. Closely written over a single leaf. THREE: Autograph early draft of review, headed 'The Change'. 3pp., 8vo. Somewhat tarter in style than the final version. Where in the fair copy Forster refers to 'Germaine Greer's style of polemic', here she refers to her 'diatribe'. There is also a reference here – not present in the fair copy – to an 'onslaught' and 'whirlwind of generalisations', 'knocking all the sense so hard backwards & forwards that in no time at all it will seem to disappear'. FOUR: Forster's review copy of 'The Change' (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991). vii + 472pp., 8vo. First edition. In dustwrapper. In fair condition, with pages browning slightly. A few passages highlighted in pencil.