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Program in British Studies

Richard Davenport-Hines on 'Ivy Compton-Burnett'

Richard Davenport-Hines (London)

Fri, September 28, 2012 | Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

2:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969) was a novelist with unique idiom and intense subject matter whose powerful impact on her English novelist contemporaries is now largely forgotten.  In sharp, vicious dialogues she depicted the lust for dominion, twisted desires, envy and hurt in upper-middle-class English families.  Her books are parables of the human condition.  No other writer of her time did more to illuminate the sources of human bravery, suffering, and cruelty.
Richard Davenport-Hines is a past-winner of the Wolfson Prize for History and Biography, whose biographical subjectsinclude W.H. Auden, Marcel Proust, and Lady Desborough.  He has also edited an anthology Vice, Hugh Trevor-Roper’s Wartime Journals, and Trevor-Roper’s correspondence with Bernard Berenson.  He has written histories of syphilis and sexual oppression, drug-taking, the Gothic Revival, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Profumo Affair.  He is a regular reviewer for the Spectator, Times Literary Supplement, and Literary Review.

Sponsored by: Faculty Seminar on British Studies

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