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About the book
  • Published: 3 July 1998
  • ISBN: 9780099276470
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $19.99

The Last September


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Genteel life at 'the 'Big House' continues while the Irish War of Independence rages beyond the gates, but for how long?

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY VICTORIA GLENDINNING

The Irish troubles rage, but up at the 'Big House', tennis parties, dances and flirtations with the English officers continue, undisturbed by the ambushes, arrests and burning country beyond the gates. Faint vibrations of discord reach the young girl Lois, who is straining for her own freedom, and she will witness the troubles surge closer and reach their irrevocable, inevitable climax.

  • Pub date: 3 July 1998
  • ISBN: 9780099276470
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • 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 Last September

“A combination of social comedy and private tragedy...brilliant description of Anglo-Irish life at the troublesome time of 1920”

Times Literary Supplement

“She is a major writer; her name should appear on any responsible list of the ten most important fiction writers on this side of the Atlantic this century. She is what happened after Bloomsbury...the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark”

Victoria Glendinning

“A strongly autobiographical portrait of a lost class marking out its final moments - every garden party, every house guest and every flirtation is touched by a sense of impending extinction”

Guardian

“Posterity will one day return to Miss Bowen's novels as a repository of clues to the inner life of our times”

Sunday Telegraph

“When I read [The Last September] I was knocked out by the sheer magnificence of her writing, the cinematic possibilities, and her obsession with the minutiae and the detail of life... I was totally gripped by the story”

Deborah Warner, Glasgow Herald

“Like Chekhov's plays about the dying years of Russian feudalism, The Last September captures the silliness, the snobbery, the perfect manners, the determination not to show their feelings, the denial, and the ending of the way of life of Bowen's circle”

Guardian

“'The Last September catches the languid yet curiously valiant mode of life at the big house just as its demolition was at hand'”

John Banville


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