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Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923–2014)

Author of The Light Years

49+ Works 5,572 Members 175 Reviews 23 Favorited

About the Author

Elizabeth Jane Howard was born in London, England on March 26, 1923. She was educated by governesses at home. Her first novel, The Beautiful Visit, was published in 1950 and won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize. Her other works include the series the Cazalet Chronicles, Falling, and the autobiography show more Slipstream. The first two novels of the Cazalet Chronicles, The Light Years and Marking Time, became the BBC TV series The Cazalets in 2001. The other books in the series are Confusion, Casting Off, and All Change. She also edited several anthologies and wrote short stories, articles, television plays, film scripts and a book on food with Fay Maschler. She was made a CBE in 2000. She died on January 2, 2014 at the age of 90. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Elizabeth Jane Howard (March 26, 1923-January 2, 2014) was a British novelist. Not to be confused with mystery writer Elizabeth Howard.


Works by Elizabeth Jane Howard

The Light Years (1990) 1,219 copies
Marking Time (1991) 800 copies
Confusion (1993) 702 copies
Casting Off (1995) 624 copies
All Change (2013) 369 copies
The Long View (1956) 259 copies
Slipstream (2002) 174 copies
Odd Girl Out (1972) 173 copies
Falling (1999) 173 copies
After Julius (1965) 162 copies
The Beautiful Visit (1950) 143 copies
The Sea Change (1959) 141 copies
Something in Disguise (1969) 130 copies
Getting It Right (1982) 99 copies
Mr Wrong (1975) 91 copies
Love All (2008) 74 copies
Green Shades (1991) 15 copies
Cooking for Occasions (1987) 14 copies
The Lover's Companion (1978) 9 copies
Marriage (1997) 7 copies
Lectures and Addresses (2002) 4 copies
Bettina: A Portrait (1957) 2 copies
2018 1 copy

Associated Works

The Enchanted April (1922) — Introduction, some editions — 2,706 copies
Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898) — Introduction, some editions — 1,057 copies
A Game of Hide and Seek (1951) — Introduction, some editions — 560 copies
The Wedding Group (1968) — Introduction, some editions — 252 copies
Shudder Again: 22 Tales of Sex and Horror (1993) — Contributor — 228 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories (1990) — Contributor — 99 copies
The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1996) — Contributor — 70 copies
The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1964) — Contributor — 60 copies
The Norton Book Of Ghost Stories (1994) — Contributor — 49 copies
The Cazalets [2001 TV series] (2004) — Original book — 18 copies
Paha vieras (1996) 15 copies
A Feast of Stories (1996) — Contributor — 14 copies
A Different Sound: Stories by Mid-Century Women Writers (2023) — Contributor — 12 copies
Ghostly, grim and gruesome: An anthology (1976) — Contributor — 7 copies


1920s (60) 20th century (209) 20th century fiction (56) anthology (91) audiobook (51) British (213) British fiction (66) British literature (95) Cazalet Chronicles (73) classic (50) classics (80) ebook (82) England (203) English (57) English literature (125) family (93) family saga (170) fiction (1,512) gardening (52) general fiction (47) Germany (60) historical fiction (172) horror (107) Italy (203) Kindle (141) literature (105) marriage (52) memoir (64) novel (282) own (54) read (114) short stories (121) to-read (498) UK (49) unread (58) Virago (169) Virago Modern Classics (126) VMC (64) women (107) WWII (240)

Common Knowledge

Date of death
London, England, UK
Place of death
Bungay, Suffolk, England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
Bungay, Suffolk, England, UK
short-story writer
Scott, Peter (first husband)
Amis, Kingsley (third husband)
Amis, Martin (step-son)
Aickman, Robert (lover)
Inland Waterways Association
Awards and honors
CBE (2000)
Fellow, Royal Society of Literature
John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (1951)
Short biography
Elizabeth Jane Howard, known as Jane, worked briefly as an actor in provincial theater before marrying Sir Peter Scott in 1942, at age 19. They had a daughter, Nicola, and divorced in 1951. A second marriage, to Jim Douglas-Henry in 1958, was brief. Her third marriage to novelist Kingsley Amis lasted from 1965 to 1983. She published her first novel in 1950 and her autobiography, Slipstream, in 2002.
Disambiguation notice
Elizabeth Jane Howard (March 26, 1923-January 2, 2014) was a British novelist. Not to be confused with mystery writer Elizabeth Howard.



149. Something in Disguise by Elizabeth Jane Howard in Backlisted Book Club (March 2022)
Elizabeth Jane Howard in Virago Modern Classics (January 2014)



It is the first book in a series about the Cazalets, a wealthy English family in the international timber trade (like Howard’s own). This one is set just before the second world war, and introduces us to the Cazalet family: three brothers and a sister, the women who are their lovers, their children and their parents, and a couple of other family connections as well. Everyone gets a couple of sections to themselves, the tight-third narrative moving from person to person to highlight the differences and similarities in perspective between the various relatives. The shadow of the first war lies heavily on all of them as they try and avoid thinking about the next one.

It’s a leisurely opening for an epic, and you couldn’t really call it a novel because the story does not end at the end of the book. There are a couple of pretty dark moments as well, setting up more narrative threads for future volumes. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
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nwhyte | 48 other reviews | Oct 23, 2022 |
Dit boek viel een klein beetje tegen door soms war saaie srukken. Maar over het algemeen heel goed. Het mooiste stuk ging over de avonturen bij een exentrieke gehandicapte dame.
elsmvst | 2 other reviews | Sep 22, 2022 |
Three stories by Aickman and three by Howard. This was Aickman's first foray into print and Elizabeth Jane Howard went on to become an accomplished writer in the non-weird vein, I think historical fiction. Opinions vary as to how much collaboration there was between the two authors but the best living authority, Howard, says there was very little with Aickman in his lifetime claiming there was more. Howard and Aickman were "involved" at the time.

The View is the only story that appears to be similar to the more mature Aickman. It is anthologized in a slightly different form elsewhere. This version is unique to this anthology. The Trains is Aickman's first published story and it has a fairly conventional ending that pretty much ties things up. The Insufficient Answer is the strangest, for Aickman, story here being a straight Gothic mystery however with some typical Aickman weird elements.

The Howard stories are also very good and although mostly conventional spook stories actually partake of more Aickmanesque elements than the Aickman stories. Three Miles Up you would swear was written by Aickman particularly because of its enigmatic ending and the fact that it entirely takes place on a British canal.

A worthwhile collection particularly as it shows Aickman's development into a more mature and unique writer and all the stories are very good. There is a very good but brief introduction by the publisher R.B. Russell based mainly on interviews with Howard who is still living. There is a transcript of the actual interview not included here somewhere on the Tartarus Press site.
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Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
A disappointing book to plough through. The writer lacks her earlier conviction with character portrayal. This is especially evident in the two principal female characters who turn to martyrdom rather than grasping a life for themselves.
For someone who once wrote with power and insight, "Love All" is a weak effort with little to recommend it.
ivanfranko | 5 other reviews | Feb 16, 2022 |



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Jennifer Worth Contributor
Gordon Cox Editor
Sue Wilks Cover photograph
Hilary Mantel Introduction, Afterword
Jill Balcon Narrator
Mary Wimbush Narrator
Clara Hammerich Translator
Selina Hastings Introduction
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