Ivy Compton-Burnett

Standard Name: Compton-Burnett, Ivy
Birth Name: Ivy Compton-Burnett
ICB published twenty novels: the first while she was in her twenties, in 1911, but the first one to use her mature and startlingly original style when she was forty, in 1925. From the beginning she was praised by critics (sometimes a chorus, sometimes a few lone voices) but sold less well than she would have liked. She was a paradox: a person shaped by Victorian values and social hierarchies, whose novels—composed largely of razor-sharp dialogue—dismantle those values and hierarchies from within.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Barbara Pym
As for marriage, BP 's involvements with men as a student must have been to some extent influenced by social pressure to marry. She felt badly let down when Henry Harvey decided to wed another...
Dedications Olivia Manning
OM published the middle volume of her Balkan Trilogy: The Spoilt City, dedicated to Ivy Compton-Burnett .
David, Deirdre. Olivia Manning: A Woman at War. Oxford University Press.
British Library Catalogue. http://explore.bl.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?dscnt=0&tab=local_tab&dstmp=1489778087340&vid=BLVU1&mode=Basic&fromLo.
Education Lady Cynthia Asquith
The most important of Cynthia's governesses, Charlotte Jourdain , arrived on the scene when she was six, after the death of her brother Colin. Her arrival initiated a very important time in Cynthia's childhood, lasting...
Family and Intimate relationships E. M. Delafield
EMD 's mother, Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle (Bonham) de la Pasture , was a popular and prolific novelist whose work was admired by writers as far-ranging as Ivy Compton-Burnett and Evelyn Waugh . She wrote to...
Friends, Associates Bryher
The flat became a gathering place for friends including the Sitwells (Bryher grew especially close to Edith and Osbert ), Elizabeth Bowen , and Ivy Compton-Burnett .
Schaffner, Perdita. “Keeper of the Flame”. H.D., Woman and Poet, edited by Michael King, National Poetry Foundation, pp. 27-33.
Bryher,. The Days of Mars. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
While in London, Bryher increased the...
Friends, Associates Rose Macaulay
RM met Ivy Compton-Burnett ; they immediately became true and intimate friends, and the friendship lasted for life.
Emery, Jane. Rose Macaulay: A Writer’s Life. John Murray.
Friends, Associates Rose Macaulay
RM also regularly attended the gatherings of the Friday Hampstead Circle , presided over by Dorothy and Reeve Brooke and later by Sylvia and Robert Lynd . These gatherings were attended by RM 's friends...
Friends, Associates Cecily Mackworth
Other friendships made now or later included many with distinguished women, like Ivy Compton-Burnett (whom she found kinder to me than she apparently was to most other people),
Mackworth, Cecily. Ends of the World. Carcanet.
and Stevie Smith , whom...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Taylor
Friends said that ET was very shy, but cared very much for very few people.
Liddell, Robert, and Francis King. Elizabeth and Ivy. Peter Owen.
She was lucky in that Ivy Compton-Burnett (who was a generation older than she was, and notoriously difficult) and...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Jane Howard
Her friends during the 1950s included Stephen and Natasha Spender , Alec Waugh , Margaret Lane , Malcolm Sargent , and Joyce Grenfell . She also met Cyril Connolly , Olivia Manning , Stevie Smith
Friends, Associates F. Tennyson Jesse
Gordon Place became the centre of an active female literary community, which included Elizabeth Bowen , Rose Macaulay , Virginia Woolf , Ivy Low (who was also a good friend of Viola Meynell ), Ivy Compton-Burnett
Friends, Associates Olivia Manning
OM 's friends included a number of fellow-writers: William Gerhardi , Ivy Compton-Burnett (whom she had first met before the war, at a party given by Rose Macaulay , and whose work she deeply admired),...
Friends, Associates Pamela Hansford Johnson
Friends made in New York included PHJ 's publisher Charles Scribner , as well as Diana and Lionel Trillingwhom I loved, but always found a little intimidating.
Johnson, Pamela Hansford. Important to Me. Macmillan; Scribner.
At home her literary friends included...
Friends, Associates Anna Kavan
After her relationship with Stuart Edmonds ended, AK developed a large and close circle of friends who doted on her. Her friends were almost exclusively homosexual men, and she developed a reputation for not getting...
Friends, Associates Barbara Pym
BP wrote steadily throughout her life, regardless of changes in occupation. One of the benefits of her first publication, Some Tame Gazelle, in 1950 was the introduction of various authors into her personal and...


1826: The Royal Society of Literature received...

Writing climate item


The Royal Society of Literature received its charter; it had been founded several years previously.

9 December 2006-17 July 2007: The National Portrait Gallery in London mounted...

Writing climate item

9 December 2006-17 July 2007

The National Portrait Gallery in London mounted an exhibition of photographs of women writers, mostly novelists, from 1920 to 1960.


Compton-Burnett, Ivy. A Family and a Fortune. Gollancz, 1939.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. A Father and His Fate. Gollancz, 1957.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. A God and His Gifts. Gollancz, 1963.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. A Heritage and Its History. Gollancz, 1959.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. A House and Its Head. Heinemann, 1935.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Brothers and Sisters. Heath Cranton, 1929.
Burkhart, Charles, and Ivy Compton-Burnett. “Critical Epilogue”. The Last and the First, Gollancz, 1971, pp. 151-9.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Darkness and Day. Gollancz, 1951.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Daughters and Sons. Gollancz, 1937.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Dolores. W. Blackwood and Sons, 1911.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Elders and Betters. Gollancz, 1944.
Sprigge, Elizabeth, and Ivy Compton-Burnett. “Foreword”. The Last and the First, Gollancz, 1971, pp. 7-12.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Manservant and Maidservant. Victor Gollancz, 1947.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Men and Wives. Heinemann, 1931.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. More Women than Men. William Heinemann, 1933.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Mother and Son. Gollancz, 1955.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Parents and Children. Gollancz, 1941.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Pastors and Masters. Heath Cranton, 1925.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy et al. The Last and the First. Gollancz, 1971.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. The Mighty and Their Fall. Gollancz, 1961.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. The Present and the Past. Gollancz, 1953.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. Two Worlds and Their Ways. Gollancz, 1949.