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Caroline Blackwood Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

For All That I Found There (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fate of Mary Rose (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stepdaughter (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Granny Webster (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darling, You Shouldn't Have Gone to So Much Trouble (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good night sweet ladies (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Corrigan (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
On the Perimeter (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Pink (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Last of the Duchess (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Never Breathe a Word (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Caroline Blackwood was born an heiress to the brewery fortune of the Guinness business as she was a descendant of the Hamiltons and Blackwoods, two old Scottish families from Ulster.
Basil her father was the Marquess of Ava and Dufferin and Maureen her mother was a Marchioness from the Golden Guiness Girls.

Caroline was brought up in the small town of Clandeboye, deep in the countryside of Co, Down, which comes with its own manmade lake shaped like a shamrock.

The massive Georgian-era house is something of a repository of ancient Victorian plunder, as it is full of sacrificial stones, weapons, and mummified animals and people looted from far-flung British colonies.
The cavernous museum-like interior of the house she lived in fuelled her Gothic imagination just like her traumatic childhood.

Later on, Blackwood saw her childhood home as a house of horrors and she left Northern Ireland to go to London aged eighteen.

She would then get a job at the Picture Post magazine in the English capital, which is where she would develop her writing.

Coming from a long line of writers such as Sheridan Le Fanu the Victorian Gothic novelist and Fredrick Blackwood the Viceroy of India who was the publisher of two travelogues, it was not surprising that she would become an author.
Even though she embraced the heritage of her aristocratic family, Caroline Blackwood rebelled against the constriction of her upbringing as an Ulster.

Once she landed in London, she embarked on a sporadic journalistic career, even as she dabbled in acting and modeling. During this time, she appeared in several magazines such as Have Gun, Will Travel, the American TV Western, and Vogue.
She used to wander and live for only a few weeks in one place, checking out different bohemian sets in New York, London, Hollywood, and Paris.

Despite being a late starter, she had always had an instinct for creative writing from a very young age. Blackwood always felt that she was an author even if she did not have any proof of it as she was not like those authors who pen manuscripts from childhood.
It was when she was 42 that she got into literary fiction and would soon become known for her black humor, complex psychology and plot, and bizarre characters.

In addition to working extensively in journalism, Blackwood published more than ten works across a wide range of interests.

Blackwood has a volume of reportage and memoir, miscellaneous fiction; at least two novels, two novellas, a short story collection; a cookbook; a biography; and two nonfiction studies.
Caroline Blackwood’s books have been published in the United States and the United Kingdom to a wide readership across the Atlantic.

Two of her works garnered critical acclaim and “The Stepdaughter,” which he published in 1976 won the David Higham Fiction Prize. In 1977, Great Granny Webster made the shortlist for the Booker Prize while becoming a bestselling title.
Nonetheless, while she is an indisputably irrepressible talent and original voice she has often been neglected. Her literary legacy has often been overshadowed by her famous husbands, tumultuous life, extraordinary beauty, and aristocratic pedigree.

“Great Granny Webster” by Caroline Blackwood is a memoir-like novella that has sometimes been called a gothic Freudian shaggy dog tale.

The author begins by describing how she lived with her great-grandmother as a child a few years, following the death of her father in the Second World War.

Monstrously miserable and selfish yet impressive in how it extols the virtues of Victorian ideals, the work will leave a lasting impression on just about anyone.

It is an impression that is described in one of the work’s most arresting but strangest passages when she says she had unfairly faded and eclipsed memories of her father.
Yearning to get back those memories, the author who is now a young woman interviewed friends and family members to get insights into her father’s personality.

Stories of her father tend to be contradictory and are often overshadowed by the pungent and tragic personalities of the rest of her family.

She tells of her voice-hearing, fairy-talking homicidal grandmother, suicidal party-obsessed aunt, and weak-willed grandfather.

Hovering over all of them was the rock-hard will of Great Granny Webster who oversees the bat-ridden and decaying manor, where there are scenes reminiscent of the Gormenghast trilogy.

Caroline Blackwood’s “The Last of the Duchess” is quite the coup as the author writes a biographical portrait of the Duchess of Windsor, the late Wallis Simpson.

She pens the biography even though she has never seen anything of her except for the outlines of her magnificent house in the French capital and a blurry photo of the subject that had been taken by some Italian paparazzi.
In 1980, she had been sent to interview the duchess by the Sunday Times of London, so that they would get a piece they could run with Princess Margaret’s husband Lord Snowdon’s photographs.

But she could never get near her as they are stopped by a vitriolic and eccentric eighty-three-year-old French lawyer whose life is all about perpetrating legends and lies about her client’s good health and beauty and suing newspapers.
Caroline then discusses the lawyer Maitre Bloom who shapes much of Wallis Simpson’s adult life with her vanities and tantrums on almost every page.

What the author paints is an interesting psychological tale, even if it lacks denouement. It is a provocative exploration of the life and times of an eccentric and complex celebrity as she edges ever closer to death.

“The Step-Daughter” is an epistolary work that reflects the mental and emotional state of the sender written with stylistic elegance and mastery.

The lead is a woman in her thirties who writes a letter to an unspecified recipient and signs off with the initial J. She is in divorce proceedings with Arnold a famous lawyer who settled in Paris after leaving her for a French girl.
He has been very generous with her as he provides all the money she needs including paying for a high-rise apartment in New York with magnificent views.

She now lives with Renata a thirteen-year-old girl who is Arnold’s child from a previous marriage in addition to her four-year-old daughter Sally and Monique a French boarder.

They barely speak to each other and get along terribly with Renata spending much of her time making envelope cakes, Monique pens letters to her friends while J is envious of the latter has real friends.
It is a study of the dark and hostile silhouette of the bitterness of an abandoned woman.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Caroline Blackwood

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