A classic tale of fantasy and self-delusion from one of the most acclaimed British novelists of the twentieth century
INTRODUCED BY HILARY MANTEL
Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah Waters
Writing stories that are extravagant and fanciful, fifteen-year old Angel retreats to a world of romance, escaping the drabness of provincial life. She knows she is different, that she is destined to become a feted authoress, owner of great riches and of Paradise House . . .
After reading The Lady Irania, publishers Brace and Gilchrist are certain the novel will be a success, in spite of - perhaps because of - its overblown style. But they are curious as to who could have written such a book - an elderly lady, romanticising behind lace curtains? A mustachioed rogue?
They were not expecting it to be the pale, serious teenage girl, sitting before them without a hint of irony in her soul.
'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen
'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator
Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bowen - soul-sisters all - Anne Tyler
One of the most underrated novelists of the twentieth century - Antonia Fraser
I envy those readers who are coming to her work for the first time. Theirs will be an unexpected pleasure - Paul Bailey
Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning point in one's own experience - Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Taylor was born in Reading, Berks in 1912 and educated at the Abbey School. She worked as a governess in a library and at the age of 24 married a businessman with whom she had a son and daughter. Much of her married life was spent in the village of Penn, Bucks. She published twelve novels and four volumes of short stories. She died in 1975.