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Elizabeth Taylor

(1912—1975) writer


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(1912–75),

novelist and short‐story writer, was educated in Reading. Her first novel, At Mrs Lippincote's (1945), was followed by eleven more: shrewd observations of middle‐class life in which self‐deceit is always exposed, while compassion is afforded to loneliness and vulnerability. Among her best‐known novels are A Wreath of Roses (1950), about a school secretary on the brink of middle age who becomes involved with a handsome but suspect young man, and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (1971), a study of the pathos of impoverished but genteel old age. Her collections of short stories, Hester Lilly (1954), The Blush (1958), A Dedicated Man (1965), and The Devastating Boys (1972), are also much admired for what Angus Wilson described as her ‘warm heart and sharp claws’. Dangerous Calm (1995, ed. Lynn Knight) contains a selection of her stories (including two previously uncollected).

Subjects: Literature.


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