Elizabeth Bowen takes us on a tour through the history of the famous Dublin landmark, the Shelbourne Hotel, in this evocative account of Irish life. Looking out on Dublin as if from the windows of the Shelbourne, and then turning inward to witness the impact of events on the hotel, its guests and staff, Bowen paints a picture of what was, in the hotel's earlier days, the second city of the Empire, then the battleground of Irish independence and civil strife, and eventually the capital of a republic.
Lively and evocative
For Elizabeth Bowen, the world-famous novelist (who wrote a book about it), the Shelbourne was the "prototype for all large hotels - I cannot help comparing all others with it. Perhaps indeed in no other capital city does any one hotel play such an outstanding role"