Full Text

Compton-Burnett, Ivy


Subject Literature » Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

Key-Topics modernism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405192446.2011.x


Ivy Compton-Burnett was born in 1884 and died in 1969. Her father was James Compton Burnett, a well-known British homoeopath. One of 13 children, Compton-Burnett spent most of her childhood in Hove in the south of England. She then moved to London, where she shared a flat for 30 years with Margaret Jourdain, a writer and authority on English furniture. The author of 20 novels published between 1911 and 1971, Compton-Burnett topped bestseller lists alongside Virginia Woolf and Agatha Christie in 1937. She was lauded by Arnold Bennett, Vita Sackville-West, and John Betjeman among others; in the USA, her popularity throughout the century is indicated by her mention in New York poet Frank O'Hara's “Biographia Letteraria.” She was touted by the French nouveau roman movement, and translated into many European languages. She received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1955, an honorary doctorate at the University of Leeds in 1960, an OBE in 1967, and was made a companion of the Royal Society of Literature in 1968. A renowned London figure, Compton-Burnett was lampooned by cartoonists, photographed by Cecil Beaton for Vogue , and broadcast on BBC radio and television. Almost all of Compton-Burnett's novels are set at the end of the nineteenth century in remote, impoverished country houses. Self-absorbed tyrants dominate the insular families therein; rare visitors are often married, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top