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Gerard Carty on The Shelbourne Hotel
Gerard Carty on Seven Winters

Gerard Carty on Bowen’s Court

17 October, 2022

One of Elizabeth Bowen’s most well-known non-fiction works is her history of the great house, Bowen’s Court in County Cork, which she eventually inhabited. She allows the reader an intimate knowledge and understanding of the structure and arrangement of the rooms, its relationship to the land, its deep cultural and social history. One is constantly fascinated by the many photographs that remain of her life there, a tesserae of images one interrogates to find moments that appear in words, fictional and non -fictional, words that have invariably captured the scene of events framed against a specifically described background of architecture, or landscape. In some of the photographs one sees her many visitors and friends casually draped over the front steps leading up to the house, an improvised amphitheatre to the landscape, the evening stone reflecting back the heat of the day, the hallway visible beyond, it too casting a cycloptic eye towards the land, where the constant changing of Cork light, the deepening movement of shadows across the landscape, the grand volumes of mature trees that made the landscape a spatial arrangement deeply perceptible to the sensitivities of her intellect.

Gerard Carty on Bowen’s Court

One of Elizabeth Bowen’s most well-known non-fiction works is her history of the great house, Bowen’s Court in County Cork, which she eventually inhabited. She allows the reader an intimate knowledge and understanding of the structure and arrangement of the rooms, its relationship to the land, its deep cultural and social history. One is constantly […]