“a gorgeous piece of work…fast-paced, vivid, bursting with characters, gossip and emotions”
Hermione Lee, Observer

An Extract

Rosamond“On the evening of 8 June 1938 Rosamond Lehmann, in company with fifty other well-known writers, sat on the stage of the Queen’s Hall in London.  In her late thirties more beautiful than ever, Rosamond in a silvery skirt and purple chiffon blouse made a magnificent figure, with her pale complexion, imposing height and thick, prematurely white hair.  The purpose of the meeting was to protest against Fascism, most pertinently Fascist involvement in the Civil War in Spain, and Rosamond herself, for over a decade a prominent member of the English literary scene, had been the event’s prime mover, hiring the hall and writing to a large number of influential names for money and support.  By inclination Rosamond shrank from political activity — ‘I was not, never have been, a political animal,’ she said once in an interview — but on this occasion she felt a special sense of commitment: her husband, Wogan Philipps, had twice gone out to Spain in support of the Republican cause, and her current lover, Goronwy Rees, ‘that seductive semi-cad’, as she later described him, was also a dedicated opponent of Fascism.  Rees was with her that night on the platform.  He spoke immediately after the poet Cecil Day Lewis, whose languid tones were in marked contrast to the stocky Welshman’s emotional delivery.  Although she had small inkling of it then, it was with Day Lewis that Rosamond, less than three years later, was to embark on the great love affair of her life.…”
“I can think of few biographies that are as un-put-downable as a novel, but Selina Hastings has produced one: fluidly elegant, witty, detached yet utterly gripping”
Caroline Moore, Spectator

“Selina Hastings has the incomparable skill of capturing the essence of a life…this biography could not be bettered”
Gillian Tindall,  Evening Standard
“a masterpiece of wit, astringency and charm”
Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph
“So intelligently written that you linger over the phrasing, her account blends wit, mischief, gossip, acuity and admiration…  It is shrewd, relaxed, understanding, stylish, and not to be missed.”
John Carey, Sunday Times

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