The Mulberry Tree
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Mulberry Tree by Elizabeth Bowen
Book DescriptionThis selection of Bowen's non-fictional writings includes her wonderfully funny, precise recollections of schooldays and childhood experiences, her brilliant evocations of London in wartime and of the Irish 'big house', and penetrating accounts of some of her most famous contemporaries. It also contains her autobiography, posthumously published and left tantalising unfinished, a little known portrait of a beloved family servant, and unpublished letters to close friends as Virginia Woolf and William Plomer, written with as much elegance and energy as her 'public' writing. In her introduction, Hermoine Lee shows how these writings display the same interests as Elizabeth Bowen's fiction - in Anglo-Irish dispossession and ambivalence, in the persistence of chilhood feelings, in treachery, ghosts, and the mysterious power of place, the lure of nostalgia , and the clash between individual and society.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099277149
(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 27-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Elizabeth Bowen
People, Places, Things, Paperback (November 2008)
This volume collects for the first time essays published in British, Irish, and American periodicals during Bowen's lifetime as well as essays which have never been published before. The essays include Bowen's observations on age, toys, disappointment, writers, and manners.
Bazaar and Other Stories, Paperback (June 2008)
Covering a range of situations - broken engagements, encounters with ghosts, brushes with crime - these previously uncollected stories demonstrate the virtuosity that characterizes all of Elizabeth Bowen's writing.
Time in Rome, Paperback (March 2003)
Presenting an account of a time spent in Rome, the author describes its history, its architecture, its atmosphere, and the famous classical sites in the city.
Hotel, Paperback (August 2001)» View all books by Elizabeth Bowen
Filled with prosperous English visitors, the Hotel offers a closed world of wealth and comfort. It also provides the stage for the display of social niceties, for passionate but unspoken love affairs and for the comedy of the shared bathroom.
US Kirkus Review » This sampler of miscellaneous nonfiction by the late Anglo-Irish writer includes essays, magazine articles, book prefaces and reviews, letters, broadcasts and autobiographical fragments. Lee supplies a brief preface and briefer introductions to the various categories. These attempt to highlight the various influences that contributed to Bowen's development as a writer and to her attitude toward what she viewed as a chaotic, sensationalistic world that had replaced the one she had known as a child. The title piece is a 1934 essay about the girls' boarding school in Kent that Bowen attended during WW I. As Bowen recalls, the emotions of these adolescent girls were so enameled by class and privilege that the death of a brother on a distant European battlefield is never mentioned, much less never publicly mourned. What ultimately comes across in this and subsequent entries is an impression of an intuitive, cerebral and once privileged woman contemplating a world doubly destroyed by two world wars. . .and preferring what had come before. The last - and perhaps most interesting - entries are the fragments of Bowen's uncompleted memoirs, penned shortly before her death in 1973. Her "underlying theme" was "the relation between (her) life and art." In the first chapter, she. . .delineates the landscape of Kent - where she had lived less than a year - evoking its mysteries as viewed by a child. The unfinished second chapter discusses the importance of "places" to her development as a writer. Her views on literature are further elaborated in a 1945 essay, "Notes on Writing a Novel," and in prefaces to various books (most interesting: a new edition of Virginia Woolf's Orlando). Other gleanings: a small selection of the more than 700 book reviews she wrote. Most of the material here, however, is of little interest to the average reader. Bowen's letters deal with mundane trivia, except for two that were broadcast on the BBC in which she discusses her reasons for becoming a writer. She tends to be numbingly wordy, while revealing little of herself, Editor Lee provides virtually no guidance, eschewing even a brief biography. Of interest chiefly to ardent Bowen enthusiasts. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899, the only child of an Irish lawyer and landowner. She was educated at Downe House School in Kent. She is considered by many to be one of the most distinguished novelists of the twentieth century. Her first book, a collection of short stories, Encounters, appeared in 1923, followed by another, Ann Lee's, in 1926. The Hotel was her first novel, and was followed by The Last September, Joining Charles, another book of short stories, Friends and Relations, To the North, The Cat Jumps, The House of Paris, The Death of the Heart, Look at All Those Roses, The Demon Lover, The Heat of the Day, Collected Impressions, The Shelbourne, A World of Love, A Time in Rome, After-thought, The Little Girls, A Day in the Dark and Eve Trout. She was awarded the CBE in 1948, and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1949 and from Oxford University in 1956. In the same year she was appointed Lacy Martin Donnelly Fellow at Bryn Mawr College in the United States. In 1965 she was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. Elizabeth Bowen died in 1973. Hermione Lee grew up in London, was educated at Oxford, began her academic career as a lecturer in Williamsburg, Virginia and at Liverpool, and taught at the University of York from 1977, where she was Professor of English until her recent appointment to the Goldsmiths' Chair of English Literature and Fellow of New College at the University of Oxford. She is well-known as a writer, reviewer and broadcaster. From 1982 to 1986 she presented Channel Four's first books programme, Book Four. Her publications include a critical study of the novels of Virgina Woolf, a book on Philip Roth, a biography of Willa Cather, a popular two-volume anthology of short stories by women writers, The Secret Self, and numerous editions, of Bowen, Woolf, Stevie Smith, Welty, Wharton, Kipling and others. Her biography of Virgina Woolf was published in 1996 and was greeted with great acclaim. It was chosen as a New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year, and short-listed for the W H Smith Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the National Book Critics' Circle Award in Biography in the USA. Elizabeth Bowen was first published in 1981 and revised in 1999 for Bowen's centenary.
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