Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett(1884-1969), Novelist
Sitter in 12 portraits
One of the most important and challenging novelists of the period, Compton-Burnett's fiction is distinguished by the use of a bare prose structure that concentrates on dialogue and dispenses with plot and description. Between 1925 and 1963 she produced a new novel nearly every two years, including A Family and a Fortune (1939) and Mother and Son (1955). Often set in Victorian country houses, Compton-Burnett remarked that she had little knowledge of life 'later than about 1910'. Despite this, the family tensions explored in her books, reflecting her own unhappy youth, resonated with a contemporary audience.