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Elizabeth Taylor Biography

(1912–75), At Mrs Lippincote's, Palladian, A View of the Harbour, A Wreath of Roses

novels published married story

British novelist and short-story writer, born and educated in Reading, Berkshire, where she worked as a governess and librarian. In 1936 she married John Kendall Taylor, with whom she spent the rest of her life, mostly in the Buckinghamshire village of Penn, the kind of prosperous rural setting which was to provide the back-ground for many of her novels. Her first novel, At Mrs Lippincote's (1945), described the effects of war on the lives of a group of middle-class English people. Palladian (1946) and A View of the Harbour (1947) were followed by A Wreath of Roses (1949), about the liaison between a young schoolteacher and the handsome but unreliable man who ensnares her. It was the first of an unbroken series of perceptive, poetic, and witty novels, including A Game of Hide and Seek (1951); The Sleeping Beauty (1953); Angel (1957), about a popular romantic novelist; In a Summer Season (1961), about a woman married to a man ten years her junior, whose encounter with a friend from her past prefaces dramas that reveal loving to be tragic as well as tender; and The Soul of Kindness (1964), a portrait of a self-deluding do-gooder. Her novels are constructed as a series of vignettes, showing the tensions and hidden dramas of the superficially comfortable and respectable world she depicts. Many of her books deal with the collapse of order (often symbolized by the breakdown of marital or sexual relationships) which is perceived as essentially fragile; the restraint with which her characters convey their feelings heightens, rather than diminishes, the emotional intensity. Later novels include The Wedding Group (1968), about a bohemian artistic community perhaps based on that of Eric Gill; Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (1971); and the posthumously published Blaming (1976). She published four acclaimed collections of short stories: Hester Lilly (1954), The Blush (1958), A Dedicated Man (1965), and The Devastating Boys (1972). Dangerous Calm, a selection of her stories, including hitherto unpublished and uncollected work, edited by Lynn Knight, appeared in 1995. She also published a children's story, Mossy Trotter (1967).

Peter Taylor Biography - (1917–1994), Collected Stories, In the Miro District and Other Stories, The Old Forest and Other Stories [next] [back] C. P. Taylor (Cecil Philip Taylor) Biography - (1927–82), (Cecil Philip Taylor), Allergy, Bread and Butter, The Black and White Minstrels

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