Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 June 2021
The House in Paris (1935), preceded by The Last September (1929) and succeeded by The Death of the Heart (1938), is one of the three novels in which Elizabeth Bowen most memorably confronted the spectacle of the disintegration of nineteenth-century European civilization in the aftermath of World War I. A Big House in Ireland is the setting for the first; a pension in Paris for the second; a middle-class villa in London for the third. All three houses function as places, conditions, characters almost, and as stages for the enactment of a disaster from which there is only a tenuous chance of recovery. Getting out of these places offers their inhabitants a chance of redemption – but it is no more than that.
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