Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen
  • Elizabeth Bowen

  • A brilliant and much admired novelist, Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) surpassed herself as a writer of short fiction: 'the supreme genius of her time', writes John Banville in his introduction; 'There is not a story in this substantial volume ... that is not brought off beautifully.' A substantial volume indeed, Including 79 stories written over four decades, ranging in setting from the County Cork of the author's Anglo-Irish childhood to bomb-ravaged London where she coolly sat out the War, evoked with vivid and impeccable artistry. She has a disturbing sense of the uncanny, an acute eye for social comedy and her often emotionally secretive characters are depicted with penetrating psychological insight. She is good at houses, ghosts, children, animals ... 900 pages of sheer delight

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.