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Lead book review

The stuff of fiction: Elizabeth Bowen exploits her extra-marital affairs

Lara Feigel tells of the passion, pain and sexual exploitation involved in Elizabeth Bowen’s affair with a young married scholar

20 February 2021

9:00 AM

20 February 2021

9:00 AM

The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters and Elizabeth Bowen Julia Parry

Duckworth, pp.386, 16.99

‘Why, Elizabeth, did you not tell me when we first slept together that you were a virgin?’ This is one of the most peculiar letters in English literary history, written in 1934 by the writer Humphry House to Elizabeth Bowen, now widely recognised as one of the major novelists of the 20th century.

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