Penelope Fitzgerald

Standard Name: Fitzgerald, Penelope
Birth Name: Penelope Mary Knox
Married Name: Penelope Mary Fitzgerald
PF was the author of three biographies, a short-story writer, and much admired novelist of the later twentieth century, who began publishing at almost sixty. Apart from one mystery, her eight novels fall into two groups: those of contemporary life, which draw on situations of which she had direct experience, and historical novels which turn a spotlight on some intensely-imagined, precise place and moment in history. A volume of her literary essays and reviews is in print and a volume of letters is expected.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Charlotte Mew
Young Charlotte developed an adolescent crush on her headmistress, Lucy Harrison , who was a niece of writer Mary Howitt , a charismatic Quaker, and a scholar of English literature.
Warner, Val. “New Light on Charlotte Mew”. PN Review, No. 1, pp. 43 - 7.
According to CM 's...
Family and Intimate relationships Charlotte Mew
Mew's biographer Penelope Fitzgerald believes that CM developed an unrequited attraction to D'Arcy, but Val Warner has more recently expressed doubt about some of Fitzgerald's evidence.
Fitzgerald, Penelope. Charlotte Mew and Her Friends. Collins, 1984, p. 240 pp.
Warner, Val. “New Light on Charlotte Mew”. PN Review, No. 1, pp. 43 - 7.
Family and Intimate relationships Winifred Peck
He was the father of the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald , who was thus WP 's niece. She published a book on the famous Knox brothers which ignores WP.
Family and Intimate relationships Stevie Smith
SS had lived with her aunt at Palmers Green and patiently nursed her through gradually deteriorating health. Their relationship was very close; her death left Stevie lonely as well as deeply grieved. The next year...
Friends, Associates Stevie Smith
In 1969 her friend Penelope Fitzgerald wrote a touching account of a visit to Smith, who produced lunch after much struggle in the kitchen, and appeared to her a [c]ombination of shrewd business woman, genuine...
Friends, Associates A. S. Byatt
Iris Murdoch became a friend of ASB by 1968 and an important friend by May 1970. When Byatt was bereaved, Murdoch broke her engagements to be with her.
Conradi, Peter J. Iris Murdoch. A Life. HarperCollins, 2002.
518-19 and n106
Having been a teaching...
Literary responses Ada Leverson
The reviewer for British Book News felt that the appeal of AL 's works lay in the grace of their prose, the wit of their dialogue, and the rich elegance of their period [Edwardian] setting...
Literary responses Candia McWilliam
Penelope Fitzgerald reviewed this book with enthusiasm, calling McWilliam this most original and unsettling of writers, and the novel brilliant and quite unstraightforward, with its glittering substance and . . . uneasy shadow.Fitzgerald revelled...
Literary responses Barbara Pym
Reviewers, including Elaine Feinstein and Penelope Fitzgerald ,
Allen, Orphia Jane. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life. Scarecrow Press, 1994.
were most of them low-key, though Bernard Levin greeted it with a broadside against its village setting, which, he said, reinforced his conviction that the best...
Literary responses Zadie Smith
One of ZS 's May Anthology stories led to her being accepted by the literary agency Andrew Wiley .
Tew, Philip. Zadie Smith. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Penelope Fitzgerald , introducing the 1996 volume, called Smith's story particularly interesting.
Tew, Philip. Zadie Smith. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Literary responses Anne Enright
Penelope Fitzgerald wrote that these stories show a tender heart, with great pity for women, who seem set on their course of hard daily work and uncomfortable dreams.
Fitzgerald, Penelope. “Bringers of Ill Luck and Bad Weather”. London Review of Books, No. 5, p. 8.
Occupation A. S. Byatt
ASB began teaching at Westminster Tutors , a cramming establishment preparing students, mostly girls, for university entrance. She taught there till 1965, and one of her colleagues was Penelope Fitzgerald .
Byatt, A. S. A. S. Byatt.
Publishing Margaret Oliphant
In 2010 Persephone Books reprinted this story or novella together with another one by MO , The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow, giving the combined book the title of the latter. The combination of these...
Publishing Winifred Peck
House-Bound, first published in 1942, was re-issued by Persephone Books in 2007, with an introduction by the late Penelope Fitzgerald , WP 's niece and fellow novelist. The edition had been planned for almost...
Textual Features Susan Hill
This is a remarkably informal quarterly: the sketch on its cover shows a bouncing mad-hatter figure with a bunch of flowers in his hand and a pile of books on his head. While endearingly open...


29 March 1972
A major exhibition of ancient Egyptian treasures associated with the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun opened at the British Museum , to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the treasures on 16 February 1923.
25 May 1995
Naim Attallah , proprietor of the Women's Press, published his first novel, entitled A Timeless Passion. Like all his other works, it was later asserted to be actually ghost-written, every word, by his employee Jennie Erdal .