Miss Peabody’s Inheritance
Elizabeth Jolley

A New York Times Notable Book

Miss Peabody, a lonely spinster in a London suburb, writes a fan letter to an Australian novelist, Diana Hopewell. In reply, Hopewell sends installments of her novel-in-progress, the bawdy misadventures of a trio of gently lesbian ladies, a headmistress and two companions, touring Europe with a hapless female student. With each mail delivery, Miss Peabody’s fascination with Hopewell and her characters intensifies, until fantasy and reality poignantly merge. A memorable duet of art and life.

“Wonderful . . . like letters from a faraway friend…. the double narrative ends with a flourish of perfect closure… Jolley’s best surprise.”
—Thomas Disch, New York Times Book Review

“Treads the ‘too thin…line between truth and fiction’ to memorable effect.”
—Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World

“Delicately and ironically told, informed by a warm sympathy that tinges even the funniest scenes with rue.”
Publishers Weekly

Elizabeth Jolley was born in 1923 in England and moved to Australia when she was in her thirties. She published her first book when she was fifty-three and went on to become one of Australia’s most celebrated authors. In the United States, her novels were excerpted in The New Yorker and elsewhere, and critically acclaimed. Her works include Foxybaby, Mr. Scobie’s Riddle, The Sugar Mother, and The Vera Wright Trilogy. She died in 2007.

Paperback / $15.95 (Can $17.00) / ISBN 978-0-89255-370-9 / 157 pages / Fiction