The Shadowy Third by Julia Parry – Love, Letters, and Elizabeth Bowen – a readable story of a three cornered relationship

I will look for this book.

Northern Reader

The Shadowy Third by Julia Parry

The power of writing, in particular letters, is at the heart of this very readable book. The author’s maternal grandfather, Humphry House, had a long term and variable relationship with the well known writer, Elizabeth Bowen. They communicated by letters which conveyed a sense of the time and place, as the 1920s moved through the challenging 1930s and the Second World War. The “Shadowy Third” person for at least part of the time was Madeline, Humphry’s wife and the only character who the author met. There are photographs of the people involved, the places where events took place, a terrific sense of the time when the relationships involved changed. Far more than a biography, this sensitive and well written book conveys the light and shades of very real people, as the author has deployed the letters that she found from all three parties and…

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