From the 1940s to the 1960s, Elizabeth Bowen took an active role in spoken media and radio in particular by writing essays for broadcast, improvising interviews on the air and giving public lectures. During her lifetime, she published few of her broadcasts. Listening In brings together a substantial number of her ungathered and unknown works for the first time.
Bowen was 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, Katherine Mansfield, Frances Burney and Jane Austen.
Edinburgh University Press
Broadcasts, Speeches, and Interviews by Elizabeth Bowen
Education & Reference