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The Sleeping Beauty
Elizabeth Taylor
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The Sleeping Beauty

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Paperback, 250 pages
Published by Dial Press (first published 1953)
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The first thing I did after I finished this phenomenal book I searched for Taylor's other books. I think it says all.

It is a beautifully written book, a brilliant novel.

I was (I am still) enchanted with a love story. So poetic and tender.

'My plans for today are to hang about hoping for a glimpse of her, to have my heart eaten away by the thought of her; to feel my blood bounding maddeningly, ridiculously, like a young boy's; to despair; to realise the weight of my misery and hunger with each s
May 19, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vinny is a quiet, sensible man.
While staying at an English resort he looks out and catches sight of a mysterious beautiful woman walking along the sea shore.
For the first time in his life he falls in love.
This is a story of bitter secrets from the past and a secluded life.
Can Vinny change all this?
I loved it, one of her best!
In this, her sixth novel, Elizabeth Taylor took the bones of a fairy story and re-set it as a very human story, among other human stories, in an English seaside town.

Vinny, the hero, is visiting to offer help and support to an old friend, Isabella, who has been widowed. He does the job beautifully and Isabella, anxious about growing old on her own, fancies that she is beginning to fall in love with him.

Her son, Lawrence, on leave from the army, is less impressed.

And Vinny is falling in love with
Helen Stanton
Nov 06, 2012 Helen Stanton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Already well wrapped up in this .....the writing is brilliant.........

This is a fantastic book and I would give it 6 stars if I could. So glad I have discovered this overlooked writer. A very subtle tale, she has an incredible ear for dialogue ....some real LOL moments !!!!!
Hilary Woolf
Oct 29, 2015 Hilary Woolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A funny and clever look at relationships and weaknesses. Some interesting and realistic characters, written with a dry sense of humour. A witty observation about cauliflower cheese at the start of the book !
Sarah Bodney
Dec 07, 2012 Sarah Bodney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did you ever see that wonderful movie "Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont"? Well, I did and so did my dear friend Sue who discovered that it was written by Elizabeth Taylor. And so a new author opened up for us. From the goodreads listing, it looks like Ms Taylor wrote over 25 books before she died in the 1970s. I am so looking forward to making my way through them.
Oct 24, 2016 kp rated it it was amazing
Another finely observed tale of that manages to be both whimsical and bitter, romantic and satirical, compassionate and sceptical.
Roger Pettit
Given that Barbara Pym is my favourite novelist, it's perhaps not surprising that I enjoy the writing of Elizabeth Taylor. They are very similar authors. Both deal with the anxieties, the insecurities, the loneliness and the poignancy that form a large part of all our inner lives. Their particular canvas is the parochial minutiae of a certain type of middle-class existence and the melancholy and sadness that all too often come with such a life. But, despite the fact that many of their principal ...more
Steven Pilling
Oct 05, 2012 Steven Pilling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
Really enjoyed this novel.

Didnt think i would and only read it because of a recommendation from a friend.

I am not sure that i can name any novelist Taylor resembles although i can see why Jane Austin is mentioned. I also feel that Wharton is a good comparison point as Taylor essentially binds her characters via a web of rules of engagement and expectations.

Taylor's strength is description, there are passages which you want to read outloud because Taylor is laser sharp and forensic in her use of
I loved Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont but I found this book disappointing. I couldn’t warm to any of the characters.
Antony Bennett
Jul 21, 2013 Antony Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another subtle, elegant story from Elizabeth Taylor laced with sharp observations and lovely touches of humour. The quality of the writing is high, and several times I paused to read some of the more beautiful sentences over again.
Dec 16, 2012 Atticbird rated it really liked it
At first, I thought this book was too parochial and introspectively petit bourgeois. However, it is cleverly written, well structured and shows genuine insight with a light humorous touch.
Mar 12, 2012 Jamiedwan rated it liked it
This was a quiet book that takes place in a quiet town but there are many secrets underneath the calm exterior. Good. I would read another one of her books. This was mom's book from 1983.
Deborah J
A pleasure, as always. The same feel as A View of the Harbour. Bigamy? Perhaps not E Taylor's thing. I plan to read as many of her books as I can find.
Feb 19, 2012 Patricia rated it liked it
Shelves: virago
There were lovely pieces, some poetic natural description and funny but sympathetic bits on Evalie and Isabelle questing after beauty and comfort. Still, I kind of trudged on to the end.
Jayne rated it liked it
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Sep 08, 2014
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May 27, 2013
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The sleeping beauty the character of vinny 1 1 Apr 19, 2016 03:23PM  
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Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles) was a popular English novelist and short story writer. Elizabeth Coles was born in Reading, Berkshire in 1912. She was educated at The Abbey School, Reading, and worked as a governess, as a tutor and as a librarian.

In 1936, she married John William Kendall Taylor , a businessman. She lived in Penn, Buckinghamshire, for almost all her married life.

Her first novel, At Mr
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“My plans for today are to hang about hoping for a glimpse of her, to have my heart eaten away by the thought of her; to feel my blood bounding maddeningly, ridiculously, like a young boy's; to despair; to realise the weight of my misery and hunger with each step I take.” 0 likes
“I cannot think why you love me,' he said, as all lovers say; but with more anxiety in his voice than is usual. 'Oh, I am nothing without you,' she said. 'I should not know what to be. I feel as if you had invented me. I watch you inventing me, week after week” 0 likes
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