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O'Brien, Kate

england spain love ana

(Irish, 1897–1974)

O'Brien was born and brought up in Limerick, Co. Cork, Ireland. After attending University College, Dublin she left Ireland and lived in both England and Spain. She was originally known as a playwright, but novels such as The Ante Room (1975) brought her fame. It deals beautifully with the precarious position of an Irish middle-class family in politically turbulent times. The action centres around an unusually unromantic love-story. That Lady (1946) is a fabulous historical novel with an unconventionally beautiful heroine, Ana, who has lost an eye in a childhood accident. The novel is set in Spain at the time of Philip II (Mary I of England's ex-husband). The development of the love triangle involving the king himself, his old friend Ana, and one of his closest advisors, Antonio Perez, is gripping.

Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Tremain  CJ

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