Elizabeth Taylor


Elizabeth Taylor (1912–1975) was born into a middle-class family in Berkshire, England. She held a variety of positions, including librarian and governess, before marrying a businessman in 1936. Nine years later, her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, appeared. She would go on to publish eleven more novels, including Angel and A Game of Hide and Seek (both available as NYRB Classics), four collections of short stories (many of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other magazines), and a children’s book, Mossy Trotter, while living with her husband and two children in Buckingham­shire. Long championed by Ivy Compton-Burnett, Barbara Pym, Robert Liddell, Kingsley Amis, and Elizabeth Jane Howard, Taylor’s novels and stories have been the basis for a number of films, including Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), starring Joan Plowright, and François Ozon’s Angel (2007).

Books
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    A View of the Harbour

    An unsparing look at a seedy seaside town and the sexual and emotional tensions that preoccupy its inhabitants. Beautifully observed, Taylor’s novel examines the lies and truths around which we build our lives. “Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bowen—soul sisters all.” —Anne Tyler

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    You’ll Enjoy It When You Get There

    An original selection of stories, many of which were first published in the New Yorker. “There is a deceptive smoothness in her tone … as in that of Evelyn Waugh … for in the work of both writers the funny and the appalling lie side by side in close amity.”—Kingsley Amis

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    Angel

    Liar, fantasist, monster, writer: Taylor’s title character, who rises from working-class girl to wildly famous sentimental novelist, is all of these things. She is also Taylor’s greatest creation, a character who is terrible, poignantly sympathetic, and unforgettable.

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    A Game of Hide and Seek

    Harriet comes of age between the wars. She’s not especially charming or attractive, but she has one passion in her life: Vesey. Nothing, not marriage to another man, or motherhood, will change that. “Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth.”—Sarah Waters