Home » Ireland » Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen


Elizabeth Bowen was born in 1899 in Dublin. Her father was a barrister. Though the family lived in Dublin during the winter, they spent the summers in their country house – Bowen’s Court – County Cork, which had considerable influence on Bowen, particularly when writing The Last September. She also wrote a separate, non-fiction book about it. Her father had a nervous breakdown when Bowen was six and she and her mother moved to England. After her mother died, Bowen was brought up by her aunts (fictionalised in The Death of the Heart). When her father recovered, he remarried and she spent time with him at Bowen’s Court in the summers. She went to art school in London but then met and married a British civil servant. They lived in London but, once Bowen’s father died, she would spend her summers at Bowen’s Court. She decided early on that she would be a writer and started writing short stories before writing her novels. Though she remained married till her husband’s death in 1952, she had a series of affairs which she used as basis for some of her writings. In later life she was unable to afford Bowen’s Court and sold it. It was demolished soon after. She retired to Hythe where she died in 1973. Though much less read nowadays, she will be remembered for her novels of manners in the Henry James style.

Books about Elizabeth Bowen

Victoria Glendinning: Elizabeth Bowen: Portrait of a Writer

Other links

Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen and Headington


1923 Encounters (short stories)
1926 Ann Lee’s and Other Stories (short stories)
1927 The Hotel (novel)
1929 Joining Charles and Other Stories (short stories)
1929 The Last September (novel)
1931 Friends and Relations (novel)
1932 To the North (novel)
1934 The Cat Jumps and Other Stories (short stories)
1935 The House in Paris (novel)
1938 The Death of the Heart (novel)
1941 Look at All Those Roses (short stories)
1942 Bowen’s Court (nonfiction)
1942 English Novelists (criticism)
1942 Seven Winters (UK: Seven Winters: Memories of a Dublin Childhood) (autobiography)
1945 The Demon Lover and Other Stories (later: Ivy Gripped the Steps and Other Stories) (short stories)
1946 Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement
1946 Selected Stories (short stories)
1948 The Heat of the Day (novel)
1948 Why Do I Write?: An Exchange of Views between Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, and V. S. Pritchett
1950 Collected Impressions (nonfiction)
1951 Early Stories (short stories)
1951 The Shelbourne Hotel (UK: The Shelbourne: A Centre of Dublin Life for More than a Century)
1955 A World of Love (novel)
1959 A Time in Rome (travel)
1959 Stories (short stories)
1962 Afterthought: Pieces about Writing (US: Afterthought: Pieces about Writing) (essays)
1963 The Little Girls (novel)
1965 A Day in the Dark and Other Stories (short stories)
1965 The Good Tiger (juvenile)
1968 Eva Trout or Changing Scenes (novel)
1974 Nativity Play: A Christmas Musical
1975 Pictures and Conversations (memoirs)
1978 Irish Stories (short stories)
1981 The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen (short stories)
1987 The Mulberry Tree: Writings of Elizabeth Bowen
1999″Notes On Éire”: Espionage Reports to Winston Churchill by Elizabeth Bowen, 1940-1942
2008 People, Places, Things: Essays
2008 The Bazaar and Other Stories
2009 More of Her Espionage Reports from Ireland to Winston Churchill
2009 Love’s Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie: Letters and Diaries, 1941-1973
2010 Listening In: Broadcasts, Speeches, and Interviews by Elizabeth Bowen
2011 Elizabeth Bowen’s Selected Irish Writings