Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
2,2214210,121 (3.45)12
Ivy Compton-Burnett was born in Pinner, Middlesex, England on June 5, 1884. She studied classics at Royal Holloway College, London University, where she graduated in 1906. After publishing her first novel, Dolores, in 1911 she went on to become a prolific writer. Her other works include Pastors and Masters, Brothers and Sisters, Men and Wives, The Mighty and Their Fall, More Women Than Men, A House and Its Head, Manservant and Maidservant, and Two Worlds and Their Ways. In 1956, she won the James-Tait Black Memorial Award for Fiction for Mother and Son. In 1967, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She died on August 27, 1969. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from A House and Its Head
… (more)
A House and Its Head 362 copies, 7 reviews
Manservant and Maidservant 357 copies, 5 reviews
A Family and a Fortune 137 copies, 4 reviews
The Present and the Past 128 copies, 2 reviews
Pastors and Masters 115 copies, 10 reviews
A God and His Gifts 108 copies, 2 reviews
A Heritage and its History 107 copies, 2 reviews
Mother and Son 88 copies, 1 review
The Mighty and Their Fall 82 copies, 1 review
A Father and his Fate 81 copies, 1 review
More Women than Men 76 copies, 4 reviews
Elders and Betters 60 copies, 1 review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Ivy Compton-Burnett was born in the town of Pinner, now a suburb of London, the seventh of 12 children of an English homeopathic doctor. She grew up in the coastal town of Hove, Sussex, and attended Addiscombe College before reading classics at the University of London. After graduating in 1906, she returned home to help her widowed mother, said to be the model for some of the domestic tyrants in Ivy's fiction. In 1911, she published her debut novel, Dolores, the tale of a dutiful daughter at home, but afterwards disowned it. Her beloved younger brother Guy had died of pneumonia at the age of 20, and then a second brother, Noel, was killed in World War I. Four of Ivy's sisters rebelled against home life after their mother's death, and ran away together to London. Her two youngest sisters, Stephanie and Catharine, committed suicide together in 1917, after which Ivy herself fell severely ill in the influenza pandemic and suffered a prolonged mental and emotional collapse. However, she recovered and successfully managed the family trust as she began to write again. At age 35, she met Margaret Jourdain, who became her lifelong companion. In 1925, at age 41, Ivy published Pastors and Masters, the first of 19 novels written in her mature manner; the last one, A God and His Gifts, appeared in 1963. Ivy developed a distinct form of novel,
with a cool, dry, ironic tone, telling stories often through dialogue alone, focusing on personal relationships within stifling, middle-class Edwardian households such as the one in which she was raised. In 1955, she received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Mother and Son. She was created Dame of the British Empire in 1967.
Disambiguation notice

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Ivy Compton-Burnett's book Pastors and Masters was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Member ratings

Average: (3.45)
0.5 2
1 12
1.5 1
2 13
2.5 10
3 54
3.5 42
4 65
4.5 13
5 25

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Ivy Compton-Burnett is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Ivy Compton-Burnett is composed of 15 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,027,343 books! | Top bar: Always visible