New Bowen Publications

This page gives information about new editions of Bowen’s work, new scholarship in the field and links relating to them

Julia Parry’s book The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters, and Elizabeth Bowen reveals the illicit affair between Elizabeth Bowen and the academic Humphry House – Julia’s grandfather. Using fascinating unpublished correspondence, the book explores the turbulent affair, its impact on the protagonists and on the author’s family. A fascinating light is thrown on Bowen’s relationships – with lovers and friends, with home and work, and with her sense of self. Inspired by Bowen’s own obsession with place and memory, Julia travels to all the locations in the letters – from Ireland to Texas, Kolkata to Cambridge – weaving present-day storytelling with historical narrative and literary exploration. ‘A work of discovery, using letters with sensitivity and intelligence, rebuilding a lost world with imaginative flair, seeing Bowen and her world with insight, and the lives of Julia Parry’s own grandparents with a sharp eye for detail and a skill at telling a fascinating story.’ (Colm Tóibín) For more details, please visit
Heather Levy’s new book, Reconsidering Elizabeth Bowen’s Shorter Fiction: Dead Reckoning, focuses on Elizabeth Bowen’s representations of violence against the self and others. Heather Levy examines the complicity of landscape and the implications of mayhem, murder, and suicide in The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen (2006) edited by Angus Wilson and The Bazaar and Other Stories (2008) edited by Alan Hepburn. It introduces five previously unpublished short story fragments and two nearly complete stories from The Elizabeth Bowen Collection at The Harry Ransom Research Center. Levy argues that Bowen’s shorter fiction is a quixotic celebration of moral transgression, crime without punishment, and suicide without mourners. Bowen’s compassionate response to offenders and violence anticipated the Perpetrator Trauma movement in the United States. Her innovations with the freedom of the short story produced an uncanny narration of violence. This book integrates the entirety of the scholarship on Bowen’s short stories in a clear and original manner and offers a synthetic and compelling excavation of Bowen’s unpublished short stories.,heather-levy-9781793628176
Victoria Coulson’s Elizabeth Bowen’s Psychoanalytic Fiction provides a new account of Bowen’s fiction that highlights in particular the force and originality of Bowen’s virtually psychoanalytic thinking about development, sexuality and gender. Focusing on the relationship between Bowen’s work and the socio-political matrix from which it emerges, Coulson presents a psychoanalytic literary interpretation informed by biographical, cultural and political contextualisation.-
Eibhear Walshe’s new novel The Last Day at Bowen’s Court was published in April 2020. It deals with the life of Elizabeth Bowen, her time in London during the Second World War and her ‘reporting’ on Irish neutrality for the Ministry of Information. At the centre of the novel is her Blitz love affair with the Canadian diplomat, Charles Ritchie, a wartime romance that inspired her most famous novel, The Heat of the Day, a gripping story about espionage and loyalty that became a best-seller.The novel is told from the point of view of Bowen herself, and also from that of her lover Charles Ritchie, her husband Alan Cameron and Ritchie’s wife Sylvia. It is set in wartime London, Dublin and North Cork, and deals with the private and public conflicts of love and of national identity in a time of upheaval and liberation. “Subtle and compelling” (John Banville)
Patricia Laurence’s biography, Elizabeth Bowen: A Literary Life, was published at the end of December 2019.
Jessica Gildersleeve & Patricia Juliana Smith’s excellent and very thought-provoking  Elizabeth Bowen: Theory, Thought and Things was published in November.
You can read Banville’s introduction published in the New York Review of Books here:
There is a review of the new edition from The Guardian here: