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People, Places, Things – Essays by Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen
Edited by Allan Hepburn

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This volume collects for the first time essays published in British, Irish, and American periodicals during Bowen's lifetime as well as essays which have never been published before. The range of subjects alone makes these essays indispensable reading.

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Light and Vision: Modern Lighting
The 1938 Academy: An Unprofessional View
Christmas at Bowen's Court
The Light in the Dark
Ecstasy of the Eye
New Waves of the Future
Places: Britain in Autumn
By The Unapproachable Sea
Foreword to 'The Cinque Ports', by Ronald and Frank Jessup
The Idea of France
Paris Peace Conference: 1946. An Impression
Paris Peace Conference - Some Impressions 1
Paris Peace Conference - Some Impressions 2
Paris Peace Conference - Some Impressions 3
Prague and the Crisis
Without Coffee, Cigarettes, or Feeling
Coming to London
Regent's Park and St. John's Wood
New York Waiting in my Memory
People: Miss Willis
Paul Morand
Mainie Jellett
Tipperary Woman
Alfred Knopf
Blanche Knopf
Foreword to 'Olive Willis and Downe House', by Anne Ridler
Houses: Opening Up the House
Home for Christmas
Bowen's Court
Ireland: Letter from Ireland
Ireland Makes Irish
How They Live in Ireland: Conquest by Cheque-Book
Introduction to 'The House by the Church-yard', by Sheridan Le Fanu
Things: Toys
Calico Windows
Introduction to 'The ABC of Millinery', by Eva Ritcher
An Enormous Channel of Expectation
The Teakettle
Mirrors Are Magic
On Giving a Present
The Art of Giving
Writers and Books: Jane Austen
Introduction to 'Pride and Prejudice', by Jane Austen
What Jane Austen Means to Me
Introduction to 'No One to Blame'
James Joyce
New Writers
Elizabeth Bowen Introduces Guy de Maupassant
Introduction to 'Tomato Cain and Other Stories', by Nigel Kneale
Introduction to 'Haven: Short Stories, Poems and Aphorisms', by Elizabeth Bibesco
A Matter of Inspiration
Introduction to 'The Stories of William Samson'
Introduction to 'An Angela Thirkell Omnibus'
A Passage to E. M. Forster
Introduction to 'Staying with Relations', by Rose Macaulay
Fairy Tales: Comeback of Goldilocks et al.
Introduction to 'The King of the Golden River', by John Ruskin
Enchanted Centenary of the Brothers Grimm
On Writing: What We Need in Writing
The Short Story in England
Introduction to 'Chance'
Introduction to 'The Observer Prize Stories'
English Fiction at Mid-Century
Rx for a Story Worth the Telling
Preface to 'Critics Who have Influenced Taste'
A Novelist and His Characters
Bowen on Bowen: Autobiographical Note
'Downe House Scrap-Book 1907-1957'
First Writing
Elizabeth Bowen, of Cork and London
My Best Novel
The Next Book
On Writing 'The Heat of the Day'
Note for 'The Broadsheet on The Heat of the Day'
Miss Bowen on Miss Bowen
The Cost of Letters
Portrait of a Woman Reading
On Radio and Cinema: Why I Go to the Cinema
Third Programme
'Lawrence of Arabia'
Ages and Ages: Modern Girlhood
Mental Annuity
The Case for Summer Romance
The Beauty of Being Your Age
Was It an Art?
Women: For the Feminine Shopper
Enemies of Charm in Women, in Men
Woman's Place in the Affairs of Man
Outrageous Ladies
Arts and Disappointments: A Way of Life
The Forgotten Art of Living
The Fear of Pleasure
The Art of Respecting Boundaries
The Virtue of Optimism
Disappointment (unpublished version)
How To Be Yourself - But Not Eccentric
The Thread of Dreams
Works Cited.

About the Author

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was a leading Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer. Her writing was influenced both by Henry James and by modernist writers. She is best known for her novels of the 1930s, her war novel, The Heat of the Day (1949), and her short stories of the London Blitz.

Allan Hepburn is Associate Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal. He has also edited The Bazaar and Other Stories by Elizabeth Bowen and People, Places, Things: Essays by Elizabeth Bowen, both published by Edinburgh University Press.


There are delights aplenty, nowhere more so than Bowen's writing on London during World War II... Essays on Jane Austen and reading, reflections on ageing and spirited evocations of post-war European excursions provide an intriguing insight into the mind of a writer Hermione Lee called 'the spy inside the gates' of the English middle classes.
- Metro
In these numerous essays that she wrote over forty years for various magazines, Bowen proves to be a very sharp, witty and enthusiastic critic. Alert to the writings as well as the historical events of her time, she illuminates them in her essays just as her essays illuminate her own fiction in return, for our greatest pleasure.
- Christine Reynier, Université Paul-Valéry-Montpellier III, Cercles - Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone