Genteel life at 'the 'Big House' continues while the Irish War of Independence rages beyond the gates, but for how long?
Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899, the only child of an Irish lawyer and land-owner. She travelled a great deal, dividing most of her time between London and Bowen's Court, the family house in County Cork which she inherited. Her first book, a collection of shorts stories, Encounters, was published in 1923. The Hotel (1926) was her first novel. She was awarded the CBE in 1948, and received honorary degrees from Trinity College, Dublin in 1949, and from Oxford University in 1956. The Royal Society of Literature made her a Companion of Literature in 1965. Elizabeth Bowen died in 1973.
"A combination of social comedy and private tragedy...brilliant description of Anglo-Irish life at the troublesome time of 1920" * Times Literary Supplement *
"She is a major writer; her name should appear on any responsible list of the ten most important fiction writers on this side of the Atlantic this century. She is what happened after Bloomsbury...the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark" -- Victoria Glendinning
"A strongly autobiographical portrait of a lost class marking out its final moments - every garden party, every house guest and every flirtation is touched by a sense of impending extinction" * Guardian *
"Posterity will one day return to Miss Bowen's novels as a repository of clues to the inner life of our times" * Sunday Telegraph *
"When I read [The Last September] I was knocked out by the sheer magnificence of her writing, the cinematic possibilities, and her obsession with the minutiae and the detail of life... I was totally gripped by the story" -- Deborah Warner * Glasgow Herald *