The first edition of Dolores was published in 1911. It sold well, and was promptly forgotten. Now that her career of sixty years is ended, and her long achievement more and more acclaimed, Dolores, standing at that remote beginning, is curiously reborn.
Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969) was a contemporary of Virginia Woolf, who wrote in her diary of how her own writing was ‘much inferior to the bitter truth and intense originality of Miss Compton-Burnett.’
Ivy Compton Burnett’s own tragic experiences of family life provided some of the material drew on as a novelist. Her books are about money, power, status, incest, adultery, murder, homosexuality, about which she was years ahead of her time, and all the passions and stresses of family life, described with brilliant wit and perception.