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Elizabeth Bowen

(1899—1973) writer

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Anglo‐Irish novelist and short story writer. Her novels include The Hotel (1927), The House in Paris (1935), A World of Love (1955), and Eva Trout (1969). The best‐known are probably The Death of the Heart (1938), and The Heat of the Day (1949). The first is the story of Portia, a 16‐year‐old orphan whose dangerous innocence threatens the precarious, sophisticated London lives of her half‐brother Thomas and his wife Anna, and who is herself threatened by her love for the glamorously despairing young Eddy, an admirer of Anna; the second centres on the tragic wartime love affair of Stella Rodney and Robert Kelway, and their reactions to the revelation, through the sinister Harrison, that the latter is a spy. The war inspired many of Elizabeth Bowen's best short stories, including ‘Mysterious KBr’ (Penguin New Writing, 1944); her Collected Stories appeared in 1980. She writes most confidently of the upper class and middle classes, but within that social range her perceptions of change are acute.

Subjects: Literature

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