This is a Virago publication and another one from my 2011 Reading List which I hadn’t realised until I started to read it is actually a book of short stories. I’ve only read novels by Elizabeth Taylor previously and really liked her writing and her short stories are equally good.
It’s usually her cousin Katherine Mansfield who is held up as a great short story writer and I have a copy of her stories which have been reprinted by Folio Books. I used to be in the Folio Book Club mainly because their books are always so beautifully produced. But I would say that Elizabeth Taylor is just as good as her cousin.
In common with Mansfield and Daphne du Maurier quite a lot of the short stories are set at holiday locations and I hadn’t noticed it until now but I suppose it is a good subject for writing about – people watching on holiday.
The blurb on the back says:
‘Like Jane Austen, like Barbara Pym, like Elizabeth Bowen – soul-sisters all – Elizabeth Taylor made it her business to to explore the quirky underside of so-called civilisation.‘ – Anne Tyler
The introduction is by Joanna Kingham, Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter and it also contains an interview of her mother which appeared in her local paper The Bucks Free Press in 1971.