This essay argues that The Last September generates both historical meaning and stylistic originality by taking apart the basic progressive structure of the Bildungsroman. While Bowen may have imbued the novel's autumnal scene with a certain wistful appreciation for the civilization of the Anglo-Irish, the novel's plot, language, and characterization in fact tend to encode a deeper and more systematic narrative meaning in which the frozen, virginal fate of Lois Farquar indexes the structural contradictions of settler colonialism and the larger inevitabilities of postcolonial nationalism.