On Henry James
What exactly was the nature of Henry James’s ‘extraordinarily intimate’ injury? And what bearing, asks Elizabeth Lowry, does it have on his Venetian novella, The Aspern Papers?
On Robert Browning
Did Robert Browning do away with Elizabeth Barrett? Why do his poems so often feature husbands who kill or resent their wives? Elizabeth Lowry looks to his dramatic monologue My Last Duchess for clues.
On Sylvia Plath
Infidelity, agony, rage… Elizabeth Lowry explores how Plath’s letters capture her life with Ted Hughes and her terror of being alive.
London Review of Books
Browse all Elizabeth’s London Review of Books articles here.
On Doris Lessing’s bleak vision of childhood
When Doris Lessing brought out the first two volumes of her autobiography, Under My Skin (1994) and Walking in the Shade (1997), she did so, as she explained, partly in ‘self-defence’, aware that at least ‘five American biographers’ were then writing their versions of her life.
On JM Coetzee’s dystopias
‘The personal life is dead,’ Pasternak wrote in Doctor Zhivago – ‘history has killed it.’ In JM Coetzee’s novel, Disgrace, which is set in a violent post-apartheid South Africa, David Lurie, a Cape Town academic, reaches a similar conclusion…
The Times Literary Supplement
To read a selection of Elizabeth’s articles for The Times Literary Supplement, please choose:
Joseph Conrad’s breakthrough novella
OLD MAN OF THE SEA
On how a novella with a problematic title opened the way into a world of trade and empire, romance and realism.
When Joseph Conrad began The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ in 1896 he already had two novels to his name…
Hisham Matar and the search for a lost father in Libya
GRAMMAR OF LOSS
In March 1990, while the Libyan writer Hisham Matar’s family was living in exile in Egypt, his father Jaballa, a prominent opponent of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, was kidnapped, taken back to Tripoli and thrown into jail.
The laureate of Britain’s imperial demise
If Rudyard Kipling was the laureate of the British Empire, then Jane Gardam is surely the closest thing we have to a laureate of its demise. Last Friends is the final book in her trilogy about the international lawyer Sir Edward Feathers…
ARABIAN NIGHTS’ VISIONS
Nowhere is the fascination felt in Western culture for the East more evident than in its avid consumption of The Arabian Nights. Ever since Antoine Galland issued the first translation…
Art, authenticity and the cracked mirror
What is the difference between reality and realism? In Henry James’s story The Real Thing (1892), a painter hires as his models a genteel couple who are down on their luck…