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Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) was born in Reading, Berkshire and spent much of her life in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Critically she is one of the most acclaimed British novelists of this century. Virago publishes twelve of her sixteen works of fiction.
One of Juliet Gardiner's favourite books. October 2010 Guest Editor Juliet Gardiner on At Mr Lippincote's... Elizabeth Taylor is one of the quiet, deceptive writers who seem to be writing about ordinary lives in the home counties but has a gimlet eye for human absurdities and fallibilities. My favourite, At Mrs Lippincote’s,wryly yet very poignantly evokes the pretensions and melancholy deceptions of wartime life.
April 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Hilary Mantel... Angel by Elizabeth Taylor is a sparkling, pointed comedy. Angel is a bestselling author who suffers for her art, but writes truly terrible books. It’s an awful warning to writers – take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. The Lovereading view... There is a dark humour in this book that points fun at the publishing world, at writers and most of all at critics. Deliciously critical and yet still acknowledging human frailty this is a lovely book with a nostalgic feel.
INTRODUCED BY DAVID BADDIEL A subtle love story by one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th century Vinny Tumulty is a quiet, sensible man. When he goes to stay at a seaside town, his task is to comfort a bereaved friend. Vinny is prepared for a solemn few days of tears and consolation. But on the evening of his arrival, he looks out of the window at the sunset and catches sight of a mysterious, romantic figure: a beautiful woman walking by the seashore. Before the week is over Vinny has fallen in love, completely and utterly, for the first time in his middle-aged life. Emily, though, is a sleeping beauty, her secluded life hiding bitter secrets from the past.
First published in 1968, this quietly ironic exploration of the ways in which the parental mould is not easily broken, is one of Elizabeth Taylor's most ambitious novels. You know,' Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to say. 'Perhaps there's nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.' Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother's apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.
INTRODUCED BY SARAH WATERS 'Every one of her books is a treat and this is my favourite, because of its wonderful cast of characters, and because of the deftness with which Taylor's narrative moves between them ... A wonderful writer' SARAH WATERS 'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' ELIZABETH BOWEN In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is painfully involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
Angelica Deverell wachst Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts in einer englischen Kleinstadt auf. Ihr Leben uber dem Lebensmittelladen der Mutter empfindet sie als trostlos: Niemand erkennt, dass sie zu Groerem berufen ist. Schrei- bend fantasiert sie sich in das prachtige Anwesen Paradise House und traumt von einer Karriere als Autorin. Als ein Verlag tatsachlich ihr uberbordendes Manuskript annimmt, wird ihr marchenhafter Madchentraum war. Auf der Hhe ihres Triumphes kauft sie Paradise House - doch Ruhm ist vergnglich und Angel verliert zunehmend den Bezug zur Realitt. Mit sprachlicher Eleganz und subtilem Witz gelingt Eli zabeth Taylor das zugleich komische und zutiefst tragische Portrt einer ungeheuerlichen Schriftstellerin.
Camp Forrest was a training, induction, and combatant prisoner-of-war (POW) facility located on the outskirts of Tullahoma, Tennessee. It was a self-sustaining city where over 70,000 soldiers were stationed and approximately 12,000 civilians were employed throughout World War II. In 1942, the camp transitioned to an enemy alien internment camp and was one of the first civilian internment camps in the United States. By the middle of 1943, it had transitioned into a POW camp and housed primarily German and Italian prisoners. After the war ended, the base was decommissioned and dismantled in 1946. In 1951, the area was recommissioned and expanded into the US Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Complex. Few remains of this important World War II facility exist today; however, the images within provide a glimpse into the effects and realities of a global war on American soil.
'It's always a treat to read Elizabeth Taylor. Mossy Trotter is a real gem. A delightfully mischievous boy living in those long-ago halcyon days when children played out all day, roaming commons, scavenging on rubbish tips and stamping in newly-laid tar' JACQUELINE WILSON 'We - that is, Herbert and I - want you, Mossy, to be our page-boy,' Miss Silkin said, staring hard at Mossy again, as if she were trying to imagine him dressed up, and with his hair combed. Mossy went very red, and nearly choked on a piece of cake, and Selwyn laughed, and went on laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of all his life. They both knew what being a page-boy meant. One of the boys at school - one of the very youngest ones - had had to be one, wearing velvet trousers and a frilled blouse.' When Mossy moves to the country, life is full of delights - trees to climb, woods to explore and, best of all, the marvellous dump to rummage through. But every now and then his happiness is disturbed - chiefly by his mother's meddling friend, Miss Silkin. And a dreaded event casts a shadow over even the sunniest of days - being a page-boy at her wedding. In her only children's book, Elizabeth Taylor perfectly captures the temptations, confusion and terrors of a mischievous boy, and just how illogical, frustrating and inconsistent adults are!
Named by the Guardian as one of 'the 100 best novels,' and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont is a humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man from a 'magnificent...writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' (David Baddiel, Independent) On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel. 'Elizabeth Taylor's exquisitely drawn character study of eccentricity in old age is a sharp and witty portrait of genteel postwar English life facing the changes taking shape in the 60s . . . Much of the reader's joy lies in the exquisite subtlety in Taylor's depiction of all the relationships, the sharp brevity of her wit, and the apparently effortless way the plot unfolds' -Robert McCrum 'the 100 best novels', Guardian
She let herself out of the large, untidy house and into her own beautiful, hyacinth-scented one. She sat down in the bay-window of her bedroom and combed her hair before the mirror. She took it all down and built it up again, but there was no one to see what she had done. * In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is painfully involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good. * 'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen 'Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person's dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail' - Valerie Martin 'A magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' - David Baddiel, Independent
"e;Als eine der meist unterschatzten Schriftstellerinnen des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts schreibt Elizabeth Taylor mit einer wunderbaren Prazision und Anmut. Ihre Welt ist absolut faszinierend."e;Antonia FraserEs herrscht das sechste Jahr des Krieges im englischen Hafenstdtchen Newby. Die Zeit vergeht ereignislos. Jeder kmmert sich um seinen Nchsten, nichts geschieht unbemerkt, auch wenn die Wahrung des schnen Scheines allen zur zweiten Natur geworden ist. Die schne Tory hat heimlich ein Verhltnis mit ihrem Nachbarn Robert, unbemerkt von seiner Frau Beth, ihrer besten Freundin, die ber dem Verfassen ihrer Romane die Umwelt nicht wahrnimmt. Ihre Tochter Prudence ist entsetzt ber den Verrat, der vor ihren Augen geschieht. Die alte Mrs Bracey starrt, an den Stuhl gefesselt, unentwegt aus dem Fenster auf den Hafen und hlt einen Tratsch mit allen, die vorbeikommen.
"e;Elizabeth Taylor ist eine Meisterin dessen, was die Briten anerkennend 'light touch' nennen - in der funkelnden Ironie ebenso wie angesichts der letzten Dinge ... Virtuos ist diese Arbeit am Detail, die immer wieder scheinbar achtlos hingeworfene Leckerbissen beschert."e;Angela Schader, Neue Zrcher ZeitungBeim sommerlichen Versteckspiel verliebt sich Harriet in Vesey. Als er zum Studium nach Oxford geht, wartet sie sehnschtig auf seinen Brief, der nie eintrifft. Jahre vergehen, in denen Harriet ihre Wnsche und Trume unterdrckt. Durch ihren Ehemann erfhrt sie Ansehen, eine Tochter macht ihr Glck scheinbar perfekt. Doch dann taucht Vesey wieder auf. Harriet ist reifer geworden, es ist zu spt, und dennoch liebt sie ihn noch immer ...
Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: one of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah Waters Elizabeth Taylor, highly acclaimed author of classic novels such as Angel, A Game of Hide and Seek and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, is also renowned for her powerful, acutely observed stories. Here for the first time, the stories - including some only recently rediscovered - are collected in one volume. From the awkward passions of lonely holiday-makers to the anticipation of three school friends preparing for their first dance, from the minor jealousies and triumphs of marriage to tales of outsiders struggling to adapt to the genteel English countryside, with a delicate, witty touch Elizabeth Taylor illuminates the nuances of ordinary lives. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
An amusing, wry homage to Jane Eyre by one of the best novelists of the twentieth century. When newly orphaned Cassandra Dashwood arrives as governess to little Sophy, the scene seems set for the archetypal romance between young girl and austere widowed employer. Strange secrets abound in the ramshackle house. But conventions are subverted in this atmospheric novel: one of its worlds is suffused with classical scholarship and literary romance, but the other is chaotic, quarrelsome and even farcical. Cassandra is to discover that in real life, tragedy, comedy and acute embarrassment are never far apart.