Elizabeth Taylor - A View Of The Harbour - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349010304
    • Publication date:03 May 2018
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    • ISBN:9780748131570
    • Publication date:29 Sep 2011
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A View Of The Harbour

A Virago Modern Classic

By Elizabeth Taylor

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

An unforgettable picture of love, loss and the keeping up of appearances

She let herself out of the large, untidy house and into her own beautiful, hyacinth-scented one. She sat down in the bay-window of her bedroom and combed her hair before the mirror. She took it all down and built it up again, but there was no one to see what she had done.


*

In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high.

Beautiful divorcee Tory is painfully involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good.

*

'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen

'Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person's dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail' - Valerie Martin

'A magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' - David Baddiel, Independent

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844083220
  • Publication date: 06 Apr 2006
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Virago
Every one of her books is a treat and this is my favourite, because of its wonderful cast of characters, and because of the deftness with which Taylor's narrative moves between them ... A wonderful writer — Sarah Waters
Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bowen - soul-sisters all — Anne Tyler
A wonderful novelist — Jilly Cooper
An eye as sharply all-seeing as her prose-style is elegant - even the humdrum becomes astonishing — Daily Telegraph
She's a favourite of this writer. I've read this novel, set in a seaside town in the 1940s, five times and I'm itching to read it again. There's a mother from hell in it who makes me wince and chuckle — Jacqueline Wilson
There is a deceptive smoothness in her tone, or tone of voice, as in that of Evelyn Waugh; not a far-fetched comparison, for in the work of both writers the funny and the appalling lie side by side in close amity — Kingsley Amis
It is time that justice was done to Elizabeth Taylor... All her writings could be described as coming into the category of comedy. Comedy is the best vehicle for truths that are too fierce to be borne — Anita Brookner
Her best novels-At Mrs. Lippincote's (1945), A View of the Harbour (1947), A Game of Hide and Seek (1951)-are, in spite of their prim titles, funny, savage and full of loneliness and suppressed emotion. For her characters, as for their author, propriety is a survival mechanism, a way of keeping the show on the road — Rachel Cooke, Guardian
Virago

Mossy Trotter

Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross

Mossy Trotter is the only book for children by Elizabeth Taylor, who is increasingly recognised as one of the best writers of the twentieth century.'We - that is, Herbert and I - want you, Mossy, to be our page-boy,' Miss Silkin said, staring hard at Mossy again, as if she were trying to imagine him dressed up, and with his hair combed.Mossy went very red, and nearly choked on a piece of cake, and Selwyn laughed, and went on laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of all his life. They both knew what being a page-boy meant. One of the boys at school - one of the very youngest ones - had had to be one, wearing velvet trousers and a frilled blouse.'When Mossy moves to the country, life is full of delights - trees to climb, woods to explore and, best of all, the marvellous dump to rummage through. But every now and then his happiness is disturbed - chiefly by his mother's meddling friend, Miss Silkin. And a dreaded event casts a shadow over even the sunniest of days - being a page-boy at her wedding. In her only children's book, Elizabeth Taylor perfectly captures the temptations, confusion and terrors of a mischievous boy, and just how illogical, frustrating and inconsistent adults are!

Virago

Complete Short Stories

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: one of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah WatersElizabeth Taylor, highly acclaimed author of classic novels such as Angel, A Game of Hide and Seek and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, is also renowned for her powerful, acutely observed stories. Here for the first time, the stories - including some only recently rediscovered - are collected in one volume. From the awkward passions of lonely holiday-makers to the anticipation of three school friends preparing for their first dance, from the minor jealousies and triumphs of marriage to tales of outsiders struggling to adapt to the genteel English countryside, with a delicate, witty touch Elizabeth Taylor illuminates the nuances of ordinary lives.Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Virago

The Sleeping Beauty

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

INTRODUCED BY DAVID BADDIELA subtle love story by one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th centuryVinny 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.

Virago

At Mrs Lippincote's

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

A Wreath Of Roses

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

Palladian

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

An amusing, wry homage to Jane Eyre by one of the best novelists of the twentieth century.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.

Virago

Blaming

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

'How deeply I envy any reader coming to her for the first time!' Elizabeth Jane Howard* A finely nuanced exploration of responsibility, snobbery and culture clash from one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.When Amy is suddenly left widowed and alone while on holiday in Istanbul, Martha, an American traveller, comforts her and accompanies her back to England. Upon their return, however, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their relationship, recognising that, under any other circumstances, the two women would not be friends. But guilt is a hard taskmaster, and Martha has away of getting under one's skin ...*'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen 'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator 'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

Virago

Angel

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah Waters* A classic tale of fantasy and self-delusion from one of the most acclaimed British novelists of the twentieth centuryWriting 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 - an elderly lady, romanticising behind lace curtains? A mustachioed rogue? They were not expecting it to be a pale, serious teenage girl, sitting before them without a hint of irony. *'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen 'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator 'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

Virago

The Soul Of Kindness

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Wedding Group

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

First published in 1968, this quietly ironic exploration of the ways in which the parental mould is not easily broken, is one of Elizabeth Taylor's most ambitious novels.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.

Virago

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

In A Summer Season

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

In a Summer Season is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels in which, in a moving and powerful climax, she reveals love to be the thing it is: beautiful, often funny, and sometimes tragic.'You taste of rain', he said, kissing her. 'People say I married her for her money', he thought contentedly, and for the moment was full of the self-respect that loving her had given him.Kate Heron is a wealthy, charming widow who marries, much to the disapproval of friends and neighbours, a man ten years her junior: the attractive, feckless Dermot. Then comes the return of Kate's old friend Charles - intelligent, kind and now widowed, with his beautiful young daughter. Kate watches happily as their two families are drawn together, finding his presence reassuringly familiar, but slowly she becomes aware of subtle undercurrents that begin to disturb the calm surface of their friendship. Before long, even she cannot ignore the gathering storm . . .

Virago

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Named by the Guardian as one of 'the 100 best novels,' and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont is a humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man from a 'magnificent...writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' (David Baddiel, Independent)On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper.Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.'Elizabeth Taylor's exquisitely drawn character study of eccentricity in old age is a sharp and witty portrait of genteel postwar English life facing the changes taking shape in the 60s . . . Much of the reader's joy lies in the exquisite subtlety in Taylor's depiction of all the relationships, the sharp brevity of her wit, and the apparently effortless way the plot unfolds' -Robert McCrum 'the 100 best novels', Guardian

Virago

Dangerous Calm

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

In 1945 the publication of AT MRS LIPPINCOTE'S launched Elizabeth Taylor's career. The author of twelve novels and four collections of short stories, she excelled at unravelling the comedy of ordinary life. DANGEROUS CALM draws on her volumes of short stories to produce a fine selection of her work. Stories such as 'Summer Schools', 'Flesh' and 'The Devastating Boys' confirm her status as one of the finest short story writers. This selection also features two previously unpublished stories and three uncollected ones, including the late, poignant tale, 'The Wrong Order'. Together they celebrate a formidable stylist whose work has delighted readers and critics for fifty years.

Virago

Hester Lilly

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Blush

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Devastating Boys

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

A collection of stories, of which the title story The Devastating Boys depicts two black waifs from London, guests of a settled country couple. They cause upheaval, but bring unexpected joy and renewal.

Ace Atkins

Ace Atkins is a former Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of the Tampa Tribune. He published his first novel at the age of 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30. Ace lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.

Adelle Stripe

Adelle Stripe was born in 1976 and grew up in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.Her debut novel, Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile received the K Blundell Trust Award for Fiction.Adelle is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry. The most recent, Dark Corners of the Land, was 3:AM Magazine's Poetry Book of the Year. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Quietus, Caught by the River, Mineshaft Magazine and Chiron Review. She lives in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, UK.

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the author of nine other critically acclaimed and bestselling novels, all published in Abacus paperback.