The Last September

The Last September

Elizabeth Bowen / Jan 20, 2020

The Last September The Last September is Elizabeth Bowen s portrait of a young woman s coming of age in a brutalized time and place where the ordinariness of life floats like music over the impending doom of history In

  • Title: The Last September
  • Author: Elizabeth Bowen
  • ISBN: 9780385720144
  • Page: 444
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Last September is Elizabeth Bowen s portrait of a young woman s coming of age in a brutalized time and place, where the ordinariness of life floats like music over the impending doom of history.In 1920, at their country home in County Cork, Sir Richard Naylor and his wife, Lady Myra, and their friends maintain a skeptical attitude toward the events going on around themThe Last September is Elizabeth Bowen s portrait of a young woman s coming of age in a brutalized time and place, where the ordinariness of life floats like music over the impending doom of history.In 1920, at their country home in County Cork, Sir Richard Naylor and his wife, Lady Myra, and their friends maintain a skeptical attitude toward the events going on around them, but behind the facade of tennis parties and army camp dances, all know that the end is approaching the end of British rule in the south of Ireland and the demise of a way of life that had survived for centuries Their niece, Lois Farquar, attempts to live her own life and gain her own freedoms from the very class that her elders are vainly defending The Last September depicts the tensions between love and the longing for freedom, between tradition and the terrifying prospect of independence, both political and spiritual.

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      Published :2018-09-25T19:35:11+00:00

    About "Elizabeth Bowen"

      • Elizabeth Bowen

        Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen, CBE was an Anglo Irish novelist and short story writer.


    1. I love to find mention of books within other books. So it was that when I recently read The Awkward Age by Henry James, I paid particular attention to a blue-covered novel that had one of the characters' names inscribed in it. I watched as the novel was passed around, influencing the fate of several characters in the process, and rewarding me for paying attention. That episode reminded me of other stories in which books within books had moved the plot along: A Room with a View, for example, wher [...]

    2. So, I’m not a huge fan of Important Subject books. Books that modestly proclaim on their jackets that they are Essential Reading about a Crucial Time in history that reveal Human Truths about our Darkest Hours, or authors who set soap operas in times of great stress that come with their own built in pile of cultural garbage so as to do the emotional work that their depiction of a relationship is not capable of doing. It’s almost worse when authors like this attempt to deepen their surface dr [...]

    3. It says on the front cover of this copy NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE. Have you ever seen them say NOW A MINOR MOTION PICTURE? No of course not. Or even NOW A MOTION PICTURE. Or NOW A SO-SO ART HOUSE MOVIE. Or NOW A VERY MILDLY ENTERTAINING MINISERIES. Well, there were two reasons why this was a mistake to pick up. One was I realised I had this year read a great novel called Troubles by JG Farrell all about the declining Anglo-Irish aristocracy during the Irish War of Independence after World War O [...]

    4. The Last September does not have power over me for what is believed to be lost. I do not mourn the loss of the English in Ireland living the good life of big houses.What, Mariel? Sorry, my trains of thoughts are crashing. What?Tell about the movie! Not yet-- okay, the movie is no good (nevermind that twenty year old me kinda liked it! Why are you admitting that? It isn't relevant to now!) because it evokes the feelings of rainy dinner party days and first horniness. Dinner parties like people ge [...]

    5. Not a favourite I'm afraid. If I hadn't read the very excellent Troubles by Farrell last year I might have thought more highly of this one.The characters didn't resonate with me, they were so self centred and rudderless. I read this because of the time period depicted. This is a slow, gently unfolding story, no doubt too gently unfolding.Just not my cup of tea.

    6. An Anglo-Irish novel of manners with overtures of a buildungsroman and subtle, distilled poetry of place and time. A few of of my classmates remarked how it seemed like something written by Jane Austen- the praise is pretty high, and thematically well taken. Some famous critic (Edward Said? Lionel Trilling? Somebody help me out here) remarked that the heroes and heroines in Austen's fiction are painstakingly indifferent to the world around them- it's all upper bourgeoise drawing rooms, garden pa [...]

    7. The characters of The Last September all seem to suffer from lethargy and incipient depression. They are unable to act, know, or even care. Only the wind has energy. Throughout the novel they are increasingly defined by relationship to objects, a move which is foreshadowed by the narrator's early listing of things amongst which she is at home.

    8. “Like splintered darkness, branches pierced the faltering dusk of leaves. Evening drenched the trees; the beeches were soundless cataracts. Behind the trees, pressing in from the open and empty country like an invasion, the orange bright sky crept and smouldered. Firs, bearing up to pierce, melted against the brightness. Somewhere, there was a sunset in which the mountains lay like glass. Dark had so gained the trees that Lois, turning back from the window, was surprised at how light the room [...]

    9. This novel is set among the Anglo-Irish upper classes, the class of Lady Gregory for Yates fans, in the 1920s. The protagonist is a young girl in her 20s whose mother has died and is in effect the ward of her aunt, Lady Naylor. The book deals with friendships and love affairs of young women of this class while the threat of the IRA hulks in the background. What is wonderful about this book is the writing. The dialogue is witty, sometimes bordering on something you would hear in Oscar Wilde. Thes [...]

    10. 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 meaning. It's not a style I enjoy. I like clarity and prefer to be led by hand.It's a shame because she manages to evoke a clear sense of Ireland during this key period of turmoil (the troubles in 1920), and specifically how the Anglo-Irish aristocracy appear to have refused to accept that anything was wrong. This means the b [...]

    11. The earliest Bowen I've read- not as great as Heat of the Day, but one of the best I've read. The prose is extremely dense, and beautiful; the characters are compelling; but there's not much story to speak of, and the ending's kind of unnecessary and lame. I wish I could have a chat at the bar with some of the people whose reviews complain about a lack of irony on the narrator's part, saying that Lois is self-obsessed, that everyone is self-obsessed, and that Bowen thinks this is the way things [...]

    12. My distaste for Elizabeth Bowen and Lois, the self-obsessed protagonist of her novel,The Last September , set in the face of the anti-colonial turmoil of the War for Irish Independence, is not misinformed. The character’s Anglo-Irish superiority and willful obliviousness outrages me because Bowen portrays it as entirely natural and without irony, even with an elegiac wistfulfulness that sets my teeth on edge. Lois, one could argue like the rest of her family who are all virtually unaffected by [...]

    13. Published in 1929, this novel by Elizabeth Bowen takes place in 1920 in County Cork, Ireland, and involves the lives of Protestant Anglo-Irish landowners who are only gradually coming to terms with the fact that their way of life is about to come to an end as Ireland is about to become independent of Britain. Their leisured existence is being played out on large plantations while, in the background, British army patrols and Irish patriots are engaged in a sort of guerrilla war. This landed arist [...]

    14. Me ha gustado el relato de la estaticidad de determinado tipo de sociedad ante los cambios externos negándose a verlos, pero le ha faltado un poco de profundidad para que fuera creíbleentremontonesdelibros

    15. The Last September is a social comedy, along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, yet with slightly darker elements. This is also written in a much more specific political and historical context, specifically in Ireland in 1920, around the time of the revolution. I read this book for a class and definitely really enjoyed it.I think part of what makes this book is the characters. I definitely laughed out loud a t several points throughout the book. It may seem like it would be hard to connect with t [...]

    16. youtu/6EDmYfR9R5EMichael Gambon Sir Richard NaylorTom Hickey O'BrienKeeley Hawes Lois FarquarDavid Tennant Captain Gerald ColthurstRichard Roxburgh Captain DaventryGary Lydon Peter ConnollyMaggie Smith Lady Myra Naylor Summary - In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying to cover up that they are presently homeless. The niece enjoys romant [...]

    17. NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK UNTIL THE LAST 15 PAGES AND IT WILL KILL YOU. I've found a new love for Bowen, whom I've never read before, but who reminds me a great deal of Betty Smith, one of my favorite authors. I don't know how I feel about reading stuffy novels about the Protestant ascendancy class in Ireland, but the protagonist of this novel, Lois, was interesting and unsure and self-conscious and I loved following her through her days of doing literally nothing besides debate whether or no [...]

    18. Story set in Ireland during the time period of the Irish War of Independence written by Elizabeth Bowen and published in 1929. The Irish War of Independence was a guerrilla war fought from 1919 to 1921 between the IRA and the British security forces in Ireland. The characters consist of people from the Irish mansion at Danielstown and the British soldiers (subalterns). To me, it was about what life would be like for a young person growing up in uncertain times at the age when young people are in [...]

    19. well this book took me 2 months to read, although it was not very long. it definitely did not move fast. it's about the anglo-irish in the 1920s, which i guess is not the perspective you usually get when you're looking at books about Ireland in the 20s, but i was pretty much rooting for their mansion to be burned down by about page 20. they were awfully inane. i mean i think was one of the main things bowen was trying to convey, but she seemed to forgive them for it, and at least in my experienc [...]

    20. What a dense book.Like many I found it difficult to follow the dialogue. ALthough I am certain this was the author's intention. It reads like you might expect a teenaged society girl to pick up on life - conversations are snippets, non-sequiturs, outrage and excitement. We read it as she might have digested it later; who said what is unimportant as she tries to pick a future path for herself, while surrounded by interpersonal hustle and bustle.The author has cleverly equated this with Ireland's [...]

    21. I'm finished with this book, but I did NOT finish it. I can't. I can't get past the language. Bowen may be Irish but she writes like a Brit: "Two armchairs faced round intently into the empty grate with its paper fan." "She glanced intently along the rows of books."Overuse of adverbs and adjectives is a problem for me: "'Aren't we dusty?'" she added as Lois said nothing. "'Aren't we too terribly dusty?'" (4)"'And she would do nothing but say she was dusty, and of course she was dusty, so there w [...]

    22. Ugh! This is supposed to be an Important Book, describing what life was like in Ireland back in the days of the Black and Tans. But, other than a few quick scenes (a guy in the bushes that Lois hid from, mentions of the safety of traveling for a dance, that whole incident in the old mill) I just didn't feel a sense of foreboding. Or, maybe that WAS the point? The Irish just didn't take it seriously? I don't know.What I DO know is that I could not enjoy the dialogue in this book. Cryptic conversa [...]

    23. Giving this 3.5/5 because I am still unsure as to how I feel about it. I liked the first 1/3 much more than the rest of the novel. Virginia Woolf-esque? Sign me up. Queer? Two scoops of yes! But the novel stagnates (which fine, that's the point of portraying this Anglo-Irish decline) without any stylistic beauty to keep me interested. I enjoyed discussing this novel much more than actually reading it.

    24. I didn't get on with this book at all, I'm afraid. I believe the author is trying to write a novel about the gentry's attitudes in the midst of the Irish Troubles but it felt a bit dull to me. I did appreciate the descriptive language and the humour, but it only seemed to perk up at the end.Please see my full review at bibliobeth.wordpress

    25. I kept reading more Eliz Bowen knowing I would eventually really like one of her books. This is the one. Irish nationalism impinges on the Anglo-Irish gentry and the British subalterns in the "occupying force"; Anglo-Irish county life sustains and yet is clearly aimed for failure.

    26. Lyrical and haunting, about a period in Irish life long-fled, though the novel was written less than a decade after its ending. My favorite after "Death of the Heart" and "House in Paris." Style is demanding, a bit self-consciously so.

    27. Reads like Virginia Woolf, minus the recognizable Woolf aesthetic. Unfortunately subtle, to the point of lacking rather than hiding.

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