Elaine Showalter

Formidable woman of letters: the grit and wisdom of Elizabeth Hardwick

The fearless critic finally escapes the shadow of her husband Robert Lowell in Cathy Curtis’s sensitive biography

Formidable woman of letters: Elizabeth Hardwick in 1967. [Alamy]

In an author’s note at the beginning of her biography of Elizabeth Hardwick, Cathy Curtis warns that she has included ‘only as much information’ about Hardwick’s ‘famous husband, the poet Robert Lowell, as is necessary to tell the story of her life’. Ironically, this caveat highlights Hardwick’s status as another wife of the poet.

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