Related to: 'In A Summer Season'

Virago

Mossy Trotter

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

Mossy Trotter is the only book for children by Elizabeth Taylor, a writer 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
Virago

The Sleeping Beauty

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

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

At Mrs Lippincote's

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

The debut novel from Elizabeth Taylor - shortlisted for the Booker Prize*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.*'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

A Wreath Of Roses

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

Angel

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Soul Of Kindness

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. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor's novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I've returned to her too - in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it' Sarah WatersA brilliant novel about the damage caused by relentless 'niceness'. Uncritical, encouraging, 'the soul of kindness', Flora's help is the cruelest hindrance to those who love her most.'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.Elegant, blonde and beautiful, Flora has everything under control: her perfect home, her husband Richard, her friend Meg, adoring Kit, and the writer Patrick. Flora entrances everyone, dangling visions of happiness and success before their spellbound eyes. All are bewitched by this golden tyrant. Except, that is, for the clear-eyed painter, Liz, who can see that Flora's kindness is the sweetest poison of them all.

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

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Shortlisted for the Booker PrizeA humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man.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.

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 centrury's finest novelists.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.*'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

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
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

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.

Virago

The Blush

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Amongst the characters in this collection of short stories are the upright Mrs Allen, who unwittingly provides an alibi for her slackly corseted home help, and Emily, who has written fluent, amusing letters to a distinguished novelist for 10 years but descends into small talk when they meet.

Virago

The Devastating Boys

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Amanda Coe

Amanda Coe is the acclaimed screenwriter and author who in 2013 won a BAFTA for the BBC Four adaptation of John Braine's Room at the Top, starring Maxine Peake. Her other credits include Life in Squares, Margot, As If and the recent BBC One adaptation of Apple Tree Yard. Her novels What They Do in the Dark and Getting Colder are published by Virago.

Anna Seghers

ANNA SEGHERS (1900-1983) was born Netty Reiling in Mainz, Germany, into a Jewish family. In 1924 she received a doctorate in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, and in the same year her first story, written under the name Antje Seghers, was published. During this time, she came into contact with many left-wing intellectuals, including her husband, a Hungarian economist, and began writing in earnest. By the end of 1928, Anna Seghers had joined the Communist Party, given birth to two children and was awarded the Kleist Prize for her first novel, The Revolt of the Fishermen of St Barbara.As Jew, a Communist and a revolutionary writer, she was blacklisted in Nazi Germany and left for France in 1933 with her family. After the Nazi invasion in 1940, she was forced to flee again and, with the aid of Varian Fry, she and her family sailed from Marseilles to Mexico on a ship that included Victor Serge, André Breton and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its passengers.Seghers gained international recognition with The Seventh Cross (1942), which became a bestseller. It was the basis for the 1944 MGM film starring Spencer Tracy and was one of the only depictions of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War in either literature or film. It has been translated into more than thirty languages.After the war Seghers moved to East Berlin, where she became a prominent figure of East German letters, actively championing the work of younger writers from her position as president of the Writers Union. Among Seghers' internationally acclaimed works are The Seventh Cross; Transit (1944); Excursion of the Dead Girls (1945); The Dead Stay Young (1949); and the story collection Benito's Blue (1973).