The sleeping beauty Hardcover – 1 Jan 1953
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A wonderful novelist (Jilly Cooper)
How skilfully and with what peculiar exhilaration she negotiated the minefield of the human heart (Jonathan Keates)
An eye as sharply all-seeing as her prose-style is elegant -- even the humdrum becomes astonishing (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Brilliantly amusing (Rosamund Lehmann) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A subtle love story by one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th century --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Elizabeth Taylor writes beautifully; she uses language with a subtle sensuality and writes with compassion and with perceptive wit, delicately highlighting the humour running through human relationships and social intercourse. Taylor is often compared to Jane Austen, and those who enjoy reading her novels will understand the comparison, but I think she should be enjoyed for her own considerable merits. If you have not yet discovered Elizabeth Taylor, and you enjoy reading intelligent, subtle, witty novels, then you are in for a treat.
Also recommended by the same author:...Read more ›
There are two love affairs developing over the course of this novel. Vinny, a middle-aged, middle-class, gently spoken, thoughtful man, falls in love with Emily, a mysterious widow he bumps into on the beach - this is the main thread of the novel. Emily is somewhat reclusive because of the car accident she was involved in that killed her husband; it required her to undergo plastic surgery, an accident that is the possible cause of her niece's mental disability. She lives with her sister Rose in a guest house; their relationship is unhealthily dependent.Read more ›
Austen's world is one of social manners and marriages in stilted and simple English.Taylor's prose is silkily sensuous witty, urbane, descriptive and rather modern. I find her delicate style more similar to Colette for instance; the incredible observational powers, the delicacy and wit- Taylor is seamless.
There are pithy aphoristic conversations, dark secrets, and enormous good humour. Sexuality depicts the psychological 'setting' of each character.
The Sleeping Beuaty of this book is a once promiscuous and thorough;y modern girl, now an inert and frozen child's companion. Both are damaged, the child an accident of birth, a woman damaged by life.Her secrets are bittersweet and painful. Her would-be lover, Vinnie Tumulty finds himself at first repelled and aroused by her mask like loveliness and then entranced by the compassion he feels for her. Compassion is his greatest weakness and also his greatest strength. He also has a secret, a wife of which he cannot rid himself having given way to pretending she did not exist for so very long.
In between this Mills and Boon type scenario great dark humour fizzles and flowers in conversations between his lady friends and their secret passion for betting.
Ageing is dealt with great humour and the effect of face creams analysed with 'almost Oriental politeness'. Their breasts are remarked as being sick of one another, Marron meringues are refused and then devoured as deference to attractiveness gives way to petty greeds and desires, which finally surface as uncontrolled bitchiness and destructive and casually vindictive jealousy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some people might find this a depressing book but it is so true to life and the prose flows so easily. I have already bought three more of her books.Published on 2 Mar. 2014 by C. Mangan
The early glimmer of a good tale which sadly waned for me as the story went on. I didn't warm to any of the characters, the ending left me even colder and I was ultimately... Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2014 by KS Bath
Elizabeth Taylor has written a novel for adults about mature feelings. This is not the syrupy romance or sleazy sex of popular fiction, but something much more difficult for... Read morePublished on 29 Aug. 2012 by Christopher H
First time I have read this author and I am very impressed. After hearing about Elizabeth Taylor on the radio I thought I would give it a try, I was NOT disappointed. Read morePublished on 21 July 2012 by Elizabeth