Thursday, 5 July 2012

Obscure wonderful writer. Elizabeth Taylor

One of my early boyfriends (ie before 25, can't remember if I mean age or notches) had only been allowed to listen to Radio 4 if home ill. I have made note. He was a scientist but had a great ability to link things in. I cannot prove cause and affect but I lived abroad before the internet and iplayer. And didn't have a TV let alone a laptop.   I was able to get LW Radio 4 and it was a life line, as it was when I was a stay at home Mum.  Thinking women's crumpet and all that.

There were the times with LW when boo, sucks when cricket was on which could overide the News Quiz and the Archers for hours.  Then days.  Must have had to amuse myself with cats' cradle.

Anyhow, loved the quality moment when I heard the Book Programme on an author called Elizabeth Taylor.  No, not that actress etc. An exquiste writer. Nice to hear a bloke liking her.  She writes about manners and tightly observed emotion, published works, 1945-1968ish.  They describe her in the programme as 'Not chick lit'.  I read her work when anything with a Virago green jacket and arty picture or an orange falling apart Penguin fiction were my breath of fresh air and where I wanted to think.  I was living in Northern Europe when I read a 'Game of Hide and Seek'. I have cried at many things but only a couple of books.  This was the first one: I wanted to have written it but couldn't; the characters' plight was something I wanted to explain to the rest of the world.

That happened not to be that interested. 

I have only a hazy memory of it now, so anyone who has read it recently can tell me how wrong I am.  However the reference in Wiki to Elizabeth Bowen, a more tricky writer towards the end, ties things together for me, when I felt noone else knew this stuff.

Comparisons are made to Jane Austen.  Book Programme says she is not a feminist, I disagree for Elizabeth Taylor from when I read her I wanted to relate to passion, feelings, complexity and making ones' own way. 

I like to think she would have always worn lipstick before she went out.

And if that makes me a non feminist, I am making sure the lipstick hue suits me.


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