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The Other Elizabeth Taylor

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Having read and enjoyed some of Elizabeth Taylor's work a year or two back, I was more than interested when I read about the publication of this book. She was something of an enigma to me and anything about her was going to be of interest. Another factor that drew me to this author is that I once lived near Penn - where she lived for over thirty years.


Nicola Beauman has worked an interesting and informative book from the scraps of information that Elizabeth Taylor allowed to be left behind her. In fact a lot of the detail in the book comes from letters to her friend and lover Ray to whom she wrote prolifically when he was a prisoner of war.


From this book comes an interesting mix of a young person who had so much potential, who was on the cusp of breaking down so many boundaries, both in the literary world and perhaps politically, and yet opted for a secure and quiet life in the country but still forged a career for herself as a writer. There is much more to her than this of course that comes through Beauman's writing when exploring the novels and short stories Taylor produced in her lifetime.


For me this is a book I will probably be returning to again and again as I acquire copies of Taylor's writing that I have yet to explore. Having read a couple of her novels I now see so much more in them than I did originally and want to read them again to experience that undercurrent that I am now aware of from Taylor's own life. I also want to read her short stories because they seem to be even more potent than the novels.

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