AbstractElizabeth Bowen was a prolific writer; her publishing career spanned five decades and during this time she wrote ten novels, over one hundred short stories and countless reviews and journal articles. While earlier novels are now acknowledged as Modernist texts, her later novels can be read through the lens of postmodernism; they can be considered variously as romantic fiction, marriage novels, war time spy thrillers and psychological drama but, throughout her novels, she consistently questioned notions of identity, sexuality and the loss of innocence. A World of Lost Innocence: The Fiction of Elizabeth Bowen offers a reading of Elizabeth Bowen’s fiction which focuses specifically on this loss, foregrounding the psychological conflicts experienced by her protagonists. It examines the subject not only across the range of her fiction, but also in relation to her unfolding narrative structures through a chronologically based discussion of her novels and selected short stories, interwoven with biographical information and drawing on unpublished letters. This book investigates the dominant kinds of innocence that Bowen represents throughout her fiction: the innocence attributed to childhood, sexual innocence and sexual morality, and political innocence, and argues that the transition from innocence to experience plays an important role in the epistemological journey faced both by Bowen’s characters and her readers.
CitationDarwood, N. (2012) 'A world of lost innocence: the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen', Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publications.
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing