Weekly Geeks: Facts about Elizabeth Taylor

This week’s prompt:  fun facts about authors.

  • Choose a writer you like.
  • Using resources such as Wikipedia, the author’s website, whatever you can find, make a list of interesting facts about the author.
  • Post your fun facts list in your blog, maybe with a photo of the writer, a collage of his or her books, whatever you want.
  • As you run into (or deliberately seek out) other Weekly Geeks’ lists, add links to your post for authors you like or authors you think your readers are interested in.

A few years ago I discovered English author Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975).  Some interesting facts about her:

  • She is not Elizabeth Taylor, the actress.
  • She worked as a governess and librarian before marriage.
  • Her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, was published in 1945, the year after Elizabeth Taylor, the actress, starred in National Velvet.
  • This is why Elizabeth Taylor, the author, was overshadowed by Elizabeth Taylor, the actress.
  • Elizabeth Taylor, the author wrote 12 novels.
  • Her books deal primarily with everyday events,  relationships, and behavior of women in the British middle- and upper-middle classes.
  • She also wrote short stories, which were published by The New Yorker but not by a British magazine.
  • She was an intensely private person, and did not appear much in the media.

Contemporary authors praise 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 Waters

‘One of the most underrated novelists of the twentieth century, Elizabeth Taylor writes with a wonderful precision and grace. Her world is totally absorbing’  Antonia Fraser

I have many of her books in Virago Modern Classic editions.  While I haven’t read them all yet, my favorite so far is A View of the Harbour (read my review).

My sources for this post included:

And here are some other featured authors you might enjoy:

If you’ve read Elizabeth Taylor, which of her books is your favorite?

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7 thoughts on “Weekly Geeks: Facts about Elizabeth Taylor

  1. I’m very fond of Angel because it was my first ET, but I also really enjoyed At Mrs. Lippincotes because there are some very bookish bits mixed in there too. I raced through about half of her books before I started to panic that there was only half left to read freshly. I’m looking forward to the biography later this year.

  2. I’m glad you clarified that she is not Elizabeth Taylor, the actress. My first thought was, “Liz Taylor was an author!” I’ve never read any of author Taylor’s books but they sound right up my alley. I’m going to check them out.

  3. Did you know that it was ElizabethTaylor month for the VMC group on Good reads?! A week ago I would have said A Wreath of Roses was my favourite, but I’ve just started A Game of hide and Seek which might just surpass it if the opening is anything to go by.

  4. I first heard of her when I saw Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. I liked the movie so much I had to read the book, which was even better. It’s the only one I’ve read so far but I am intrigued and want to read more.

  5. I haven’t read any yet, but I have Mrs Palfrey at the Clarmont on my library list – it’s also a Booker short list, so that’s another incentive to read it.

  6. @BIP: I really must read Mrs Lippincote and Angel soon.

    @fleur: no, I did not know about the GoodReads thing, although I’m not really active there. I recommend you visit everybookandcranny (see previous comment) as she is highlighting one of YOUR favorite authors today!

    @Karen, raidergirl3: I loved Mrs Palfrey. I read the book first; the film is good and quite true to the book but I agree, the book is better. It’s a quick read and quite poignant.

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