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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.

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Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Lee Miller - NPG P1077

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Lee Miller
modern contact print from original negative, 1943
NPG P1077

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Irving Penn - NPG P1397

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Irving Penn
gelatin silver print, 1958
NPG P1397

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Howard Coster - NPG x1773

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1942
NPG x1773

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Howard Coster - NPG x3348

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Howard Coster
quarter-plate film negative, 1942
NPG x3348

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Howard Coster - NPG x3349

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Howard Coster
quarter-plate film negative, 1942
NPG x3349

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by Howard Coster - NPG x3350

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Howard Coster
quarter-plate film negative, 1942
NPG x3350

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by John Vere Brown - NPG x68290

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by John Vere Brown
bromide fibre print, 1964
NPG x68290

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by John Vere Brown - NPG x36233

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by John Vere Brown
bromide fibre print, 1964
NPG x36233

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, by John Vere Brown - NPG x36234

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by John Vere Brown
bromide fibre print, 1964
NPG x36234

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1949
NPG x22416

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett

by Bill Brandt
bromide print, 1949
NPG x9224

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