THE LAST DAY AT BOWEN'S COURT, a novel by Either Walshe.

This remarkable novel explores the life of the Irish novelist, Elizabeth Bowen, her time in London during the Second World War and her ‘reporting’on Irish neutrality for the Ministry of Information. At the centre of the novel is her Blitz love affair with the Canadian diplomat, Charles Ritchie, a wartime romance that inspired her most famous novel, The Heat of the Day, a gripping story about espionage and loyalty that became a best-seller. The story is told from the point of view of Bowen herself, and also from that of her lover Charles Ritchie, her husband Alan Cameron and Ritchie’s wife Sylvia. It is set in wartime London, Dublin and North Cork, and deals with the private and public conflicts of love and of national identity in a time of upheaval and liberation. At the centre of the novel is a portrait of Elizabeth Bowen, one of Ireland’s most influential writers.


Eibhear Walshe was born in Waterford, studied in Dublin, and now lives in Cork, where he lectures in the School of English at University College Cork and is Director of Creative Writing. He has published in the area of memoir, literary criticism and biography, and his books include Kate O’Brien: a Writing Life (2006), Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde and Ireland (2012), and A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Tóbín (2013). His childhood memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir (2009) was broadcast on RTE’s Book on One. His novel, The Diary of Mary Travers (2014) was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year in 2015 and longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. He was associate editor, with Catherine Marshall, of Modern Ireland in 100 Art Works, edited by Fintan O’Toole and shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award. His novel on Handel, The Trumpet Shall Sound was published in 2019 was described as ‘fascinating, deep and utterly absorbing’ by the Irish Times and ‘a plausible, sensuous coming-of-age story about a genius wrestling with love and ambition across eighteenth century Europe’ by Emma Donoghue."

A subtle, compelling and detailed reimagining of one of the great enduring love affairs of the literary twentieth century. Eibhear Walshe has brought a vanished time back to life
John Banville

An impressive, rare combination of academic insight and a skill for storytelling...a persuasive and powerful portrayal of living through uncertainty and the far-reaching effects of a relationship.' 
Irish Examiner

'I find The Last Day at Bowen's Court to be an utterly absorbing re-creation of the times, the places, the social classes, the attitudes.' 
Christopher Fitz-Simon, author and theatre director.


ISBN:978 1 999997083
Paperback with flaps
Historical Fiction
26 March 2020