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Caroline Blackwood, (born Caroline Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood) Biography

(1931–96), (born Caroline Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood), The Dolphin, The Stepdaughter, Great-Granny Blackwood

family novel married set

British novelist and essayist, daughter of the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, born in Ireland where she grew up on her family's estates in Clandeboye, Co. Down; she was educated mainly in England. She married the painter Lucien Freud; after her divorce, she married the musician Israel Citkovitz, and later, the poet Robert Lowell who wrote about their relationship in The Dolphin (1973). Her first novel, The Stepdaughter (1976), set in Manhattan, reworks the epistolary form to present the monologue of an abandoned, embittered woman trapped in her own guilt and yet unable to escape its prison. The novel displayed Blackwood's emphasis on inevitability and determinism, and her ability to weave the strands of religious and philosophical discourse. Great-Granny Blackwood (1977), which reconstructs the lives and fortunes of an aristocratic family through the lives of its women, is rich with surrealistic set-pieces and is blackly humorous. The Fate of Mary Rose (1981) demonstrated an increasing maturity of craftsmanship; narrated by a cold historian, the novel's central metaphor of the rape and murder of a little girl illustrates in chilling detail the selfishness of emotional relationships as the narrator's family, and his extramarital attachment, dissolve under the pressures of fear and uncertainty. Corrigan (1984) concerns a widow's involvement with the ambivalent figure of Corrigan—saviour or conman—and reflected Blackwood's fascination with the relativity of truth. Her non-fiction works include On the Perimeter (1984), an account of the women at the Greenham Common peace camp, and In the Pink (1987), a long essay on hunting.

[back] Algernon Blackwood (Algernon Henry Blackwood) Biography - (1869–1951), (Algernon Henry Blackwood), Episodes before Thirty, The Empty House, The Listener, Pan's Garden

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