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book cover of A family and a fortune

A family and a fortune

(1939)
A novel by

 
 
Edwin Muir wrote of Ivy Compton-Burnett in the Observer: 'Her literary abilities have been abundantly acknowledged by the majority of her literary contemporaries. Her intense individuality has removed her from the possibility of rivalry... She takes as her theme the tyrannies and internecine battles of English family life in leisured well-conducted country houses. To Miss Compton-Burnett the family conflict is intimate, unrelenting, very often indecisive and fought out mainly in conversation... The passions which bring distress to her country houses have recently devastated continents.'

To present an image of this totally unique writer, we have to imagine a Jane Austen writing, in the present day, Greek prose tragedies (in which the wicked generally triumph) on late Victorian themes. In A Family of a Fortune she conveys, largely through dialogue (which may be subtle, humorous, envenomed, or tragic), the effects of death and inheritance on the house of Gaveston - in particular on the relations between Edgar and his selfless younger brother, Dudley. This, apart from the embittered character of Matilda Seaton, is her kindliest novel.

Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969) grew up in Hove and London. She was encouraged by her father, who sadly died from a sudden heart attack when she was sixteen, to read Classics from a young age. She attended Holloway College in London to study Classics and wrote her first novel Delores in 1911. Compton-Burnett suffered several losses after her father - her closest brother died three years later, three more of her younger siblings and her mother passed away by the time she was 35, something she rarely spoke about, but constantly visited in her novels.

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Used availability for Ivy Compton-Burnett's A family and a fortune

Hardback Editions

June 1939 : UK Hardback
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Title: A Family and a Fortune
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-575-02579-4 / 978-0-575-02579-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Gollancz
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1970 : UK Hardback

Title: Family and a Fortune
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-575-00549-1 / 978-0-575-00549-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

August 2012 : UK Paperback
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Title: A Family and a Fortune (Bloomsbury Reader)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 1-4482-0418-6 / 978-1-4482-0418-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 1962 : UK Paperback
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Title: A Family and a Fortune (Modern Classics)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-14-001713-5 / 978-0-14-001713-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

July 2016 : MP3 CD
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Title: A Family and a Fortune
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 1-5318-4003-5 / 978-1-5318-4003-7
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


May 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: A Family and a Fortune
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


May 2013 : UK Audio edition
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Title: A Family and a Fortune
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: A Family and a Fortune (Bloomsbury Reader)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA