Sybille Bedford’s life contained all the grand feeling and seismic events of the twentieth century: war and peace, love and trauma, friendship and death. Her father died when she was just fourteen and her mother, a great socialite and litterateur, fell victim to a debilitating morphine addiction. A bon viveur, she roamed from country to country in search of fresh experience, with ear and eye attuned to her surroundings, typewriter at the ready.
Full of intense friendships (Aldous Huxley, Martha Gellhorn and Elizabeth Jane Howard among them), a fierce commitment to the craft of writing, as well as an insatiable appetite for love and sex, Sybille Bedford blazed her own path in her life and her art. ‘Selina Hastings’ wonderful, gossipy biography is a gem, revealing not just the shy writer, but also the colourful, turbulent 20th-century literary world in which she lived’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year’A wonderful biography’ Sara Wheeler, Spectator’An extraordinary story’ The Times’A richly entertaining biography’ Daily Mail, Books of the Year