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A Family and a Fortune
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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. Compton-Burnett published twenty novels. However, the first of her works to use her mature and original style was published when she was forty, in 1925. Compton-Burnett's fiction is often said to be Edwardian in setting - the domestic occurences in large households. She never married and lived in London as companion to Margaret Jourdain. She was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 1967.

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