The Last Day at Bowen’s Court
Regular price $17.00
2020, Somerville Press
Paperback, 192 pages
This remarkable novel explores the life of the Irish novelist, Elizabeth Bowen, her time in London during the Second World War and her ‘reporting’ on Irish neutrality for the Ministry of Information. At the centre of the novel is her Blitz love affair with the Canadian diplomat, Charles Ritchie, a wartime romance that inspired her most famous novel, The Heat of the Day, a gripping story about espionage and loyalty that became a best-seller. The story is told from the point of view of Bowen herself, and also from that of her lover Charles Ritchie, her husband Alan Cameron and Ritchie’s wife Sylvia. It is set in wartime London, Dublin and North Cork, and deals with the private and public conflicts of love and of national identity in a time of upheaval and liberation. At the centre of the novel is a portrait of Elizabeth Bowen, one of Ireland’s most influential writers.
Eibhear Walshe was born in Waterford, studied in Dublin, and now lives in Cork, where he lectures in the School of English at University College Cork and is Director of Creative Writing. His books include Kate O’Brien: a Writing Life (2006), Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde and Ireland (2012), and A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Tóbín (2013). He was associate editor, with Catherine Marshall, of Modern Ireland in 100 Art Works, edited by Fintan O’Toole and shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award.