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Elizabeth Jane Howard: A Dangerous Innocence

Saturday 25 March 2017

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Biographer Artemis Cooper looks at the life and loves of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, who wrote about what love can do to people but whose own love life was characterised by short-lived marriages and affairs.

Howard turned to fiction after her first ambition to be an actress was thwarted by marriage and the war. Her first novel, The Beautiful Visit, won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize, and she went on to produce five volumes of The Cazalet Chronicle. Following divorce from her first husband, the ornithologist Sir Peter Scott, she had high-profile affairs with Cecil Day-Lewis, Arthur Koestler and Laurie Lee. A later marriage to Kingsley Amis ended in divorce. Cooper interviewed Howard several times and talked extensively to family and friends. Her biography explores a woman trying to make sense of her life through writing.

Cooper is author of a number of books including Cairo in the War, 1939-1945, Writing at the Kitchen Table: The Authorized Biography of Elizabeth David and Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure.

This event is part of the festival’s women in society series sponsored by HSBC.

Supported by University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education.