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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099276456
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

The Death Of The Heart


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Bowen's best known book. A piercing story of innocence betrayed.

'One of the last century's greatest woman writers' Guardian

It is London in the late 1930s and sixteen-year-old orphan Portia is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home . Wide-eyed and disconcertingly vulnerable, Portia encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal--and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099276456
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899, the only child of an Irish lawyer and landowner. She was educated at Downe House School in Kent. Her book Bowen's Court (1942) is the history of her family and their house in County Cork, and Seven Winters (1943) contains reminiscences of her Dublin childhood. In 1923 she married Alan Cameron, who held an appointment with the BBC and who died in 1952. She travelled a good deal, dividing most of her time between London and Bowen's Court, which she inherited.

Elizabeth Bowen is considered by many to be one of the most distinguished novelists of the twentieth century. Her first book, a collection of short stories, Encounters, appeared in 1923, followed by another, Ann Lee's, in 1926. The Hotel (1927) was her first novel, and was followed by The Last September (1929), Joining Charles (1929), another book of short stories, Friends and Relations (1931), To the North (1932), The Cat Jumps (short stories, 1934), The House in Paris (1935), The Death of the Heart (1938), Look at All Those Roses (short stories, 1941), The Demon Lover (short stories, 1945), The Heat of the Day (1949), Collected Impressions (essays, 1950), The Shelborne (1951), A World of Love (1955), A Time in Rome (1960), Afterthought (essays, 1962), The Little Girls (1964), A Day in the Dark (1965) and her last book Eva Trout (1969).

She was awarded the CBE in 1948, and received honorary degrees from Trinity College, Dublin in 1949, and from Oxford University in 1956. In the same year she was appointed Lacy Martin Donnelly Fellow at Bryn Mawr College in the United States. The Royal Society of Literature made her a Companion of Literature in 1965. Elizabeth Bowen died in 1973.

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Praise for The Death Of The Heart

“Ironic comedy as well as tragedy, The Death of the Heart tells a story as old as wickedness: the world's betrayal of innocence”

TIME Magazine, 1939

“Bowen had a genius for conveying the reader straight into the most powerful and complex regions of the heart”

New York Times

“Bowen is "the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark."”

Victoria Glendinning


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