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Cazalet author Howard dies at 90

Author Elizabeth Jane Howard has died at 90 following a short illness, her publicist said.

Her fifth novel in The Cazalet Chronicles, All Change, was published less than two months ago.

The highly-acclaimed series, which was adapted for a BBC television series and most recently for BBC Radio 4, told the tale of an upper-middle class family in England during and after the Second World War.

The novelist, who was made a CBE in 2002 and published her autobiography Slipstream the same year, died at her home in Bungay, Sussex yesterday afternoon.

Maria Rejt, publisher at Mantle Books, part of Pan Macmillan, said Howard's body of work, which included a collection of short stories and 14 novels, was remarkable for its profound humanity.

She said: "Her novels all illuminate and celebrate what it means to be alive - regardless of age, gender or circumstance - and they moved and inspired countless readers, as her vivacity and wisdom inspired her friends in her own eventful and supremely generous life.

"She was unfairly overlooked by the literary establishment, perhaps because her novels are so eminently readable - but that was also part of her extraordinary gift as a writer.

"Her life's lessons were given lightly and generously through her fiction but the struggle was always kept from view."

Ann Evans, Howard's agent for many years, added: "It was a privilege and joy to represent Elizabeth Jane Howard - she was a wonderful writer with a marvellous insight into the human condition.

"She was also the most fabulous friend - interesting, kind and generous and we will miss her terribly."

Howard started writing about the Cazalets some 30 years ago on the advice of her stepson Martin Amis.

She continued to write every day, saying in an interview with The Observer last year: "Well, it's the thing that gets me up in the morning."

She married three times, including to fellow author Kingsley Amis, and is survived by her daughter.

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow was one of many to pay tribute. He wrote on Twitter last night: "The wonderful Elizabeth Jane Howard (novelist) died today at 90: She watched C4News EVERY night all the way through: Here's to a great lady!"

Susan Hill, author of The Woman In Black, tweeted: "Elizabeth Jane Howard, who died today was a stunning beauty and delightful if formidable woman when I 1st met her in 1961. Nothing changed."


From Belfast Telegraph