1912–1975, English novelist and short-story writer. Born Elizabeth Coles, she married John Taylor in 1936. She wrote a dozen novels and numerous short stories. In language that is precise, witty, and understated, her novels deftly detail the everyday lives of middle-class and upper-class Englishwomen, often beginning in the period immediately before or after World War I. Sensitive to the disappointments and frustrations of her characters, she is nonetheless ruthless in exposing their delusions and vanities. Her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote's
(1945), was followed by such works as A View of the Harbour
(1947), A Game of Hide and Seek
(1957), The Soul of Kindness
(1964), and The Wedding Group
(1968). Her short-story collections include Hester Lily
(1954), A Dedicated Man
(1965), and the anthology Dangerous Calm
See biographies by F. Leclercq (1985), N. H. Reeve (2008), and N. Beauman (2009); N. H. Reeve, ed., Elizabeth Taylor: A Centenary Celebration (2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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