Angel (Paperback)

Angel By Elizabeth Taylor, Hilary Mantel (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Elizabeth Taylor, Hilary Mantel (Introduction by)
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.


A darkly witty classic about literary worth, ambition, and romantic idealism set in turn-of-the-century England, with an introduction from Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall)

“A delicious satire on the career of schoolgirl sensation Angelica Deverell. She's a truly magnificent comic creation: petulant, paranoid and frighteningly prolific." (The Guardian)

Angelica Deverell lives above her diligent, drab mother’s grocery shop in a dreary turn-of-the-century English neighborhood, but spends her days dreaming of handsome Paradise House, where her aunt is enthroned as a maid.

But in Angel’s imagination, she is the mistress of the house, a realm of lavish opulence, of evening gowns and peacocks. Then she begins to write popular novels, and this fantasy becomes her life. And now that she has tasted success, Angel has no intention of letting anyone stand in her way—except, perhaps, herself.

Now back in print after 20 years, this under-recognized classic is (unlike Angel's own novels) self-aware, funny, and subtly layered. It both sharply satirizes its protagonist and acknowledges the intensity of her imagination and the rigor of her work, all the while seeing her as fully human, complicated, and even sympathetic.

About the Author

Elizabeth Taylor (1912–1975) was born into a middle class family in Berkshire, England. She held a variety of positions, including librarian and governess, before marrying a businessman in 1936. Nine years later, her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, appeared. She would go on to publish eleven more novels, including A Game of Hide and Seek (available as an NYRB Classic), four collections of short stories, and a children’s book, Mossy Trotter. Long championed by Ivy Compton-Burnett, Barbara Pym, Robert Liddell, Kingsley Amis, and Elizabeth Jane Howard, Taylor’s novels and stories have been the basis for a number of films, including Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), starring Joan Plowright, and François Ozon’s Angel (2007). 

Hilary Mantel is an English novelist, short-story writer, and critic. Her novel Wolf Hall won the Man Booker Prize in 2009.

Praise For…

“With its monstrous romantic-novelist heroine Angelica Deverell, it’s a study of extravagant self-deception that’s both achingly funny and heart-wrenchingly sad.” —The Millions

“Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person’s dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail—the perfect toast to the quiet horror of domestic life.” —Valerie Martin

“Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor’s novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I’ve returned to her too—in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it.” —Sarah Waters

“Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning   
 point in one’s own experience.”  —Elizabeth Bowen

“One of the most underrated novelists of the twentieth century, Elizabeth Taylor writes with a wonderful precision and grace. Her world is totally absorbing.” —Antonia Fraser

Product Details
ISBN: 9781590174975
ISBN-10: 1590174976
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: February 14th, 2012
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: New York Review Books Classics