The novelist Elizabeth Bowen believed that media was a personal and social force. From the 1940s to the 1960s, she took an active role in the media and radio in particular by writing essays for radio broadcast, improvising interviews on the air and giving public lectures. Despite her pronounced stammer and her complaints that reading her own work gave her lockjaw, she was a spellbinding talker. Bowen became known as a public intellectual capable of talking on numerous subjects with wit and general insight. Invited to university campuses in the UK and US, she delivered important lectures on language, the 'fear of pleasure', character in fiction, the idea of American homes and other topics. Her first efforts for radio were adaptations of her own short stories and dramatizations of literary subjects. She quickly turned to commentary on culture, such as the beginning of the BBC Third Programme and the atmosphere in postwar Czechoslovakia. She documented her love of cinema in the 1930s and the making of Lawrence of Arabia in the 1960s, and broadcast on Queen Elizabeth II, Frances Burney and Jane Austen. During her lifetime, Bowen published few of her broadcasts.
Listening In brings together a substantial number of her ungathered and unknown works for the first time. Key Features o The third volume from Edinburgh University Press that brings Bowen's previously ungathered and unknown works to the reading public o Advances scholarly knowledge about radio in modernism and makes Bowen's voice known within modernist media studies o Helps to define the public role of the writer and women's roles in the postwar years o An exciting new source for students of adaptation, both in Bowen's adaptations of her own work for radio and her broadcasts about Jane Austen and Frances Burney.
Allan Hepburn is Associate Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal. He has also edited The Bazaar and Other Stories by Elizabeth Bowen and People, Places, Things: Essays by Elizabeth Bowen, both published by Edinburgh University Press.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; Plays for the Air: The Confidant; New Judgement: Elizabeth Bowen on Jane Austen; London Revisited: As Seen by Fanny Burney; A Year I Remember - 1918; Broadcasts: Book Talk - New and Recent Fiction; The Next Book; Impressions of Czechoslovakia; Mechanics of Writing; Books that Grow up with One; The Cult of Nostalgia; Coronation; On Not Rising to the Occasion; Writing about Rome; Ireland Today; The Daughters of Erin by Elizabeth Coxhead; An Essay in French; Panorama of the Novel; Speeches: Subject and the Time; The Poetic Element in Fiction; The Idea of Home; Language; The Fear of Pleasure; A Novelist and His Characters; Film and Radio: Things to Come; Why I Go to the Cinema; Third Programme; Lawrence of Arabia; Appreciations: Downe House Scrapbook 1907-1957; Alfred Knopf; Blanche Knopf; Questions: Confessions; The Cost of Letters; Portrait of a Woman Reading; Interviews and Conversations: The Living Image - 1; The Living Image - 2; How I Write: A Discussion with Glyn Jones; A Conversation between Elizabeth Bowen and Jocelyn Brooke; Do Women Think Like Men?; Do Conventions Matter?; Conversation on Traitors; Frankly Speaking: Interview, 1959; Notes; Works Cited;