Elizabeth Taylor - At Mrs Lippincote's - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780748131617
    • Publication date:29 Sep 2011
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At Mrs Lippincote's

By Elizabeth Taylor

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A wonderful novel from one of Britain's most acclaimed twentieth century novelists, At Mrs Lippincote's explores the hypocrisies and evasions inherent in marriage

Mrs Lippincote's house, with its mahogany furniture and yellowing photographs, stands as a reminder of all the certainties that have vanished with the advent of war. Temporarily, this is home for Julia, who has joined her husband Roddy at the behest of the RAF. Although she can accept the pomposities of service life, Julia's honesty and sense of humour prevent her from taking her role as seriously as her husband, that leader of men, might wish; for Roddy, merely love cannot suffice - he needs homage as well as admiration. And Julia, while she may be a most unsatisfactory officer's wife, is certainly no hypocrite.

Biographical Notes

Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) was born and educated in Reading. On leaving school she worked as a governess & later in a library. She lived much of her married life in the village of Penn, Bucks. In 1984 ANGEL was selected by the Book Marketing Council's 'Best Novels of Our Time'.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844083091
  • Publication date: 06 Apr 2006
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Virago
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Complete Short Stories

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The Sleeping Beauty

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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.

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Palladian

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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.

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A Game Of Hide And Seek

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A Wreath Of Roses

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Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

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In A Summer Season

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The Wedding Group

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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.

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The Soul Of Kindness

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"Here I am!" Flora called to Richard as she went downstairs. For a second, Meg felt disloyalty. It occurred to her of a sudden that Flora was always saying that, and that it was in the tone of one giving a lovely present. She was bestowing herself.'The soul of kindness is what Flora believes herself to be. Tall, blonde and beautiful, she appears to have everything under control -- her home, her baby, her husband Richard, her friend Meg, Kit, Meg's brother, who has always adored Flora, and Patrick the novelist and domestic pet. Only the bohemian painter Liz refuses to become a worshipper at the shrine. Flora entrances them all, dangling visions of happiness and success before their spellbound eyes. All are bewitched by this golden tyrant, all conspire to protect her from what she really is. All, that is, except the clear-eyed Liz: it is left to her to show them that Flora's kindness is the sweetest poison of them all.

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Angel

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Writing stories that are extravagant and fanciful, fifteen-year old Angel retreats to a world of romance, escaping the drabness of provincial life. She knows she is different, that she is destined to become a feted authoress, owner of great riches and of Paradise House . . .After reading The Lady Irania, publishers Brace and Gilchrist are certain the novel will be a success, in spite of - and perhaps because of - its overblown style. But they are curious as to who could have written such a book: 'Some old lady, romanticising behind lace-curtains' . . . 'Angelica Deverell is too good a name to be true . . . she might be an old man. It would be an amusing variation. You are expecting to meet Mary Anne Evans and in Walks George Eliot twirling his moustache.' So nothing can prepare them for the pale young woman who sits before them, with not a seed of irony or a grain of humour in her soul.

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Blaming

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When Amy's husband dies on holiday in Istanbul, she is supported by the kindly but rather slovenly Martha, a young American novelist who lives in London. Upon their return to England, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their friendship, but the skeins of their existence seem inextricably linked as grief gives way to resilience and again to tragedy. Reversals of fortune and a compelling cast of characters, including Ernie, ex-sailor turned housekeeper, and Amy's wonderfully precocious granddaughters, add spice to a novel that delights even as it unveils the most uncomfortable human emotions.

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Four Frightened People

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Matter of fact Judy Corder, a 26 year old doctor, is travelling with her cousin Stewart on a slow ship to Singapore. Incarcerated with their fellow passengers, at 107 degrees in the shade, they fall in with the hearty Mrs Mardick and Arnold Ainger, and intriguing, somewhat pompous married man. Then plague breaks out. Under cover of darkness, all four flee the ship for the terrors of the jungle. In the depths of the jungle, civilisation abandoned, the true natures of all four assert themselves . . .

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Dangerous Calm

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Hester Lilly

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The title story shows a headmaster's elegant wife suffering torments of jealousy when his gawky young cousin comes to live with them. Why is it that her sophistication seems unable to compete with Hester's naivety? Elsewhere we see the mute agonies of a long marriage; the emotional deserts lurking in the English countryside; and old ruffian's sense of suffocation in a genteel community for the blind; or the freshness and oddity of children's perceptions. In this, her first collection of short stories, Elizabeth Taylor charts the territory she so triumphantly claimed as her own.

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Treasure Hunt

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Angel, formidable hostess, social charmer and mother par excellence, confidently awaits the return of her little boy from the trials of war. She could not anticipate that the teenager who went away will return a grown man - bronzed and world-weary - a sophisticated American widow on his arm. Nor could she anticpate that her irrepressible daughter Slaney will similarly throw herself into romance (without asking her advice) and even her niece Tiddley will show an unexpected determination in getting on with her life. Faced with domestic insurrection on a grand scale, Angel will have to sharpen her wits to maintain her tyranny.

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