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2,121439,725 (3.42)120
A House and Its Head 339 copies, 7 reviews
Manservant and Maidservant 338 copies, 6 reviews
A Family and a Fortune 136 copies, 4 reviews
The Present and the Past 116 copies, 2 reviews
Pastors and Masters 112 copies, 11 reviews
A God and His Gifts 108 copies, 2 reviews
A Heritage and its History 103 copies, 2 reviews
Mother and Son 83 copies, 1 review
More Women than Men 78 copies, 4 reviews
The Mighty and Their Fall 78 copies, 1 review
Elders and Betters 60 copies, 1 review
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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.
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