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Janice Elliott Biography

(1931–95), A State of Peace, Private Life, Heaven on Earth, Dr Gruber's Daughter

life oxford british wide

British novelist, born in Derby, educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. She worked as a journalist in London until she became a freelance writer in 1962. She achieved wide recognition with her ‘England Trilogy’, A State of Peace (1971), Private Life (1972), and Heaven on Earth (1975), which depicts the social and cultural character of England in the years immediately following the Second World War with remarkable detail and authenticity. While a number of her books display a preoccupation with the psychological tensions beneath the rational surfaces of contemporary British middle-class life, her imaginative range was wide; esoteric political and mystical elements were ascendant in her later work, which includes Dr Gruber's Daughter (1986), in which Hitler lives out old age in an Oxford attic, and The Sadness of the Witches (1987), a bizarre fable set in Cornwall. Summer People (1980), Secret Places (1981), Necessary Rites (1990), City of Gates (1992), and Figures in the Sand (1994) are also among her twenty-two novels. She has also published Noises from the Zoo (1991), a collection of short stories, and five children's books.

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