Thursday 3 July 2008

For Elizabeth Taylor

No, not that one - this one, born on this day in 1912. She was one of those elegant, quietly gifted Enlish lady novelists we used to have quite a few of, and she's well worth reading even now. Happily, unlike many of her generation, she's still on the literary (and cinematic) radar, and several of her works have been republished by Virago.. I wish someone would reprint what we have of Julia Strachey - two novellas, both quite brilliant. Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, a dark but sprightly social comedy,, was reprinted by Persephone books a few years ago and can be found on Amazon (at a price), but An Integrated Man, an extraordinary study in thwarted love, seems to be all but unobtainable now. I have a battered old Penguin (both titles), which I recently reread, and was not disappointed. If you come across either or both of these, snap them up - you won't be sorry.


  1. Nige, we would have a problem accommodating Liz, Frau Malty would have to move some of her Mrs Henry Woods and the current Madonna of the shelves Jodi Picoult, our summer house has now become the overspill library, this includes all of the stuff we would never again in a million years read, Aldous sodding Huxley, Tommy, yawn, Hardy, Albert, it wasn'a me, Speer et al, I will however persist, I cannot focus my mind on an alternate Elizabeth Taylor, she is, quite simply, the most watchable woman in history, ever. For all of her many faults she was, when playing alongside Montgomery Clift, the supreme move actress While typing this I am listening to the Mahler resurrection and picturing Raintree County, and enjoying Talisker No 2, don't let anyone put you off retirement, it has its moments.

  2. "East Lynne" by Mrs. Henry Wood? A chapter of my dissertation was about that novel -- the best-selling novel of the entire 19th century in England. Not very well written, sadly, but filled with incident and adultery. A sensation novel, in other words.

    But I've seen E. Taylor's "At Mrs. Lippincote's" in a Virago and I do believe I'd enjoy it. Having recently stumbled upon E. Von Arnim (*loved* "The Pastor's Wife"), I'm sure I would.

    But now -- a bit o' house cleaning before guests come over to celebrate the 4th of July.