Slipstream : A Memoir, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Born in London in 1923, Elizabeth Jane Howard was privately educated at home, moving on to short-lived careers as an actress and model, before writing her first acclaimed novel, "The Beautiful Visit", in 1950.

She has written 12 highly regarded novels, most recently "Falling".

Her Cazalet Chronicles have become established as modern classics and have been filmed by the BBC.

She has been married three times - firstly to Peter Scott, the naturalist and son of Captain Scott, and most famously and tempestuously to Kingsley Amis.

It was Amis' son by another marriage, Martin, to whom she introduced the works of Jane Austen and ensured that he received the education that would be the grounding of his own literary career.

Her closest friends have included some of the greatest writers and thinkers of the day - Laurie Lee, Arthur Koestler and cecil Day-Lewis, among others.

Honest and unflinching, this book illuminates the literary world of the latter half of the 20th century, as well as giving a personal insight into the life of Elizabeth Jane Howard.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780330484053

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I knew very little about Elizabeth Jane Howard before starting this book, but I enjoyed it very much. It's primarily the story of her life: her childhood, her relationships and marriages (including marriages to Peter Scott and Kinglsey Amis), and her struggle to gain sufficient independence, confidence and income to write. There's comparatively little about the process of writing her books, but it's hard not to like an author who is so candid about her failings, nor a book in which Daniel Day Lewis pops round to help clear out the garage.

Review by

A very interesting book. It is so closely related to the Cazalet Chronicles, but the writers voice is much more affecting. She struggles a lot with self esteem, making many steps in life that she comes to feel some sorrow and regret about. You can see Louise in her account, but also Clary, and that shows what a mixture of different character traits she had. It is quite sad to think now she too has died, joining many great writers of the 1950-1990 s.

Review by

So much of the Cazalet chronicles came from EJH's own life. There are bits of her in Polly, Louise and Clary. Her life was quite extraordinary: there hardly seems to have been a literary figure in Britain in the post-war period she didn't know. She made a lot of mistakes in her personal life and she examines them in ruthless detail. She died early this year and I hope that those who were moved to hear of her death might come across Slipstream and find out more about her. She was utterly fascinating.

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