INTRODUCED BY CHARLOTTE MENDELSON
‘It is time that justice was done to Elizabeth Taylor… All her writings could be described as coming into the category of comedy. Comedy is the best vehicle for truths that are too fierce to be borne’ ANITA BROOKNER
‘”You know,'”Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to say. “Perhaps there’s nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.”‘
Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artist grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother’s apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.
‘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