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Elizabeth Bowen

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Elizabeth Bowen

On June 7, 1899 Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her childhood was spent with her parents, Henry, who suffered from mental illness, which would eventually kill him, and her mother, Florence, whom she was very close to. Her mother was a very fun-loving, carefree, social woman, and she raised Elizabeth to be the same.

When Elizabeth was young her father changed professions, and his new job put him under a lot of stress and pressure. This began to wear him out, and he became mentally ill. As a result, Elizabeth and her mother went to England to stay with relatives. A few years later, her mother died of cancer. Elizabeth moved in with relatives, and later began attending Downe House, a boarding school for girls where she received her education.

Elizabeth moved to London; her theory was that all writers lived in London. She began writing at age twenty; she was influenced by the works of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. In 1923, Encounters, was published, a collection of her short stories. This same year Elizabeth married Alan Charles Cameron, a war veteran. Within the following years she wrote, The Hotel, her first novel, and Ann Lee's, a collection of stories.

Henry, Elizabeth's father, died in 1930, leaving Elizabeth Bowen Court, the house that had been handed down through many generations of Bowen's, Elizabeth grew up in this house. She continued to write throughout her life, she wrote a plethora of short stories, essays, and novels. Many of her works were influenced by, and take place during, WWII. Elizabeth died in London, in 1973 of lung cancer.

Elizabeth was an amazing woman, and author, who accomplished and experienced many things throughout her lifetime. She was recognized as a major novelist, she was named Commander of the British Empire, was awarded the honorary Doctor of Literature, at Trinity College in Dublin, and at Oxford University.



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