Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969) was born in Pinner, Middlesex. She was educated privately, then at Holloway College, where she studied Classics. She wrote her first novel, 'Dolores', in 1911, and a further 19 novels throughout her lifetime. The last of these, 'The Last and the First', was published posthumously in 1971. She shared a flat with author and furniture historian Margaret Jourdain from 1918 until Jourdain's death in 1951.
For further biographical information the reader is directed to the following published works:
- Spurling, Hilary: 'Ivy When Young, the early life of I. Compton-Burnett 1884-1919', London: Allison and Busby, 1974
- Spurling, Hilary: 'Secrets of a Woman's Heart, the later life of I. Compton-Burnett, 1920-1969', London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1984
- Dick, Kay: 'Ivy and Stevie (Ivy Compton-Burnett and Stevie Smith), conversations and reflections', London: Allison and Busby, 1971
The papers comprise drafts of two of Ivy Compton-Burnett's novels, translations of poems by Margaret Jourdain, correspondence, press cuttings, broadcasts about ICB's work, diaries and a few photographs.
The papers were deposited at King's College Library by Mrs Henrietta Williamson on 18 July 1984.