Their victims lie strewn all round

Dear Elizabeth, I’ve been meaning to write to you since the beginning of April, when the 1938 Club brought me right inside ‘the turned-in heart’ of your novel The Death of the Heart (1938) – but, well, everyday life, as it happens, got recklessly on the way. Set in the period between the World Wars,…

Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen (Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen, 7 June 1899 – 22 February 1973) was an Irish writer. Born in Dublin, she moved with her mother to England in 1907, when her father became mentally ill. After her mother’s death, in 1912, Bowen was brought up by her aunts. After attending art school in London, she decided to be a writer,…

More reading projects, or Reading as if there were no tomorrow

Hello, lovely readers, It’s been some time since I last wrote to you (or wrote a book review, as a matter of fact…). Spring term has just begun here in Germany, so during the past weeks I was quite busy preparing lectures, helping students with their papers and – in between – trying to move forward…

Love was so vulnerable

Dear Mary, In the midst of a very busy week for me, it was a delight to come home after a hectic day and be able to immerse myself in your quiet and heart-warming book. Good Daughters (1984), the first in the Fairley’s trilogy, is a family saga and coming-of-age story, set in the mid-1930s,…

Mary Hocking

Mary Hocking (8 April 1921 – 17 February 2014) was a British writer. Born in in London, she studied at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls School, Acton. During the Second World War she served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens) attached to the Fleet Air Arm Meteorology branch and then briefly with the Signal Section in Plymouth. After the…