- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell (14 Mar. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385720149
- ISBN-13: 978-0385720144
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,109,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Last September Paperback – 14 Mar 2000
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"A combination of social comedy and private tragedy...brilliant description of Anglo-Irish life at the troublesome time of 1920" (Times Literary Supplement)
"She is a major writer; her name should appear on any responsible list of the ten most important fiction writers on this side of the Atlantic this century. She is what happened after Bloomsbury...the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark" (Victoria Glendinning)
"A strongly autobiographical portrait of a lost class marking out its final moments - every garden party, every house guest and every flirtation is touched by a sense of impending extinction" (Guardian)
"Posterity will one day return to Miss Bowen's novels as a repository of clues to the inner life of our times" (Sunday Telegraph)
"When I read [The Last September] I was knocked out by the sheer magnificence of her writing, the cinematic possibilities, and her obsession with the minutiae and the detail of life... I was totally gripped by the story" (Deborah Warner Glasgow Herald) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Genteel life at 'the 'Big House' continues while the Irish War of Independence rages beyond the gates, but for how long? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
In Elizabeth Bowen's accomplished second novel, "The Last September," published in 1929, the story is set about a decade earlier, at the time of the Anglo-Irish War. The protagonist and main center of consciousness is Lois Farquhar, about 18 years old, an orphan, and living with her uncle and aunt, Sir Richard Naylor and his wife Lady Myra, in Danielstown, a "big house" in the south of Ireland. An English regiment is quartered nearby to keep the rebels under control, and Sir Richard and Lady Myra seem oblivious to the seriousness of the political realities of their times. Lois is presented as being at that stage of life where she seeks to make her own way in the world, though she is not yet capable of articulating her desire for freedom in anything like direct terms. Thus we see her disenchanted vision of the older generation represented by her uncle and aunt, rather than any clear articulation of her own hopes for the future. She knows what she wants to get away FROM, but as yet is only inchoately grasping what she might herself become. These inchoate graspings focus on visitors to Danielstown, the Montmorencys, (old friends of Richard and Myra), Marda Norton (a frequent guest, apparently an independent woman, but in fact dependent on people like the Naylors to put her up for weeks at a time), and Gerald Lesworth, a young English officer who is smitten by Lois. Bowen captures brilliantly the uneasy consciousness of Lois as it circles around these characters in whom she sees possibilities of her own freedom and whom she, to some extent, idealizes. .Read more ›
A British army unit is garrisoned nearby to protect their loyal subjects-and, not incidentally, provide a ready source of young men for garden parties and tennis matches. With an acute eye for detail, ironic detachment, and a sometimes caustic wit, Bowen reconstructs the lives of these aristocrats. One comments that it would be "the greatest pity if we were to become a republic and all these lovely troops taken away." Laurence remarks cynically that he would like to be present when "this house burns and we should all be so careful not to notice." When an informer tells the family that guns have been buried on their property, they are blasé about it-they don't want to tell the soldiers because it might result in the trampling of some new trees.
Throughout the novel, Bowen's prose remains formal and detached. When Lois and a young soldier begin to think they are in love, there are no passionate scenes-both are a product of their time and upbringing, and kisses are reserved for the engagement. When nearby estates are attacked, the Naylors simply change their schedules and limit their travel.Read more ›
There is a large cast of characters, all deftly and skilfully portrayed and the background of the Troubles is a rumble of discomfort beneath the clink of drinks before dinner. Of particular interest is the Anglo-Irish attitude to the English occupation. They welcome officers to their parties, but are neutral when it comes to the activities of local Irish families, to whom they have been used to offering patronage and from whom their large cast of servants is obtained. They prefer not to notice, if they can contrive it, that they are straddling the conflict between English and Irish politics.
Though the personalities and the various love affairs and attractions sometimes pall - there is only so much polite wooing and arcane conversation one can bear - the background of the Troubles provides the catalyst for several incidents and for the downbeat ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's very well written but I couldn't engage with it very muchPublished 14 months ago by Miss Smith
This is the worst book I have ever had the misfortune of having to read don`t buyPublished 18 months ago by lost
Our reading grouip quite liked this book. It gave insight into the situation in Ireland in that period.and especially of the life of a young woman.Published on 10 Nov. 2013 by Carol Ferris
Although Protestants still form a small but significant clan in the south of Ireland, the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy has all but disappeared. Read morePublished on 30 May 2013 by Cheshire Tiger
Great art is both challenging and accessible. Elizabeth Bowen's highly wrought Modernist writing style resulted in me having to frequently re-read passages and ponder their... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2013 by nigeyb
I'd already read the book as a Book Club read but re-read it for the course. Loved it, beautifully written and made into a film a few years ago. Read morePublished on 13 Jan. 2013 by Tricia
This book illuminates, so well, all that Elizabeth Bowen wanted to her readers to understand and visualize about Ireland and, I would argue, also about herself. Read morePublished on 2 Dec. 2012 by NEIL
Read it for my book club - found it difficult to follow - too many adjectives and boring, boring, boringPublished on 20 Nov. 2010 by Book Club/General Gifts