In a writing career that covered the first fifty years of the twentieth century, Rose Macaulay produced twenty-three novels, six books of criticism, four books of travel and history and two collections of poetry, as well as a large correspondence. Her friends included Ivy Compton-Burnett, Virginia Woolf, E M Forster, Rosamond Lehmann and Elizabeth Bowen.
She gave the impression of being sexually uninterested in men (she looked like a eunuch, said catty Virginia Woolf, who did not take kindly to Rose’s novels being more popular than her own), while for a quarter of a century she was passionately involved with a married man.
A great comic writer who excelled at satire, she was also a literary innovator and experimenter, and a sharp and invigorating commentator on matters of popular and public interest.
‘a magnificent job … imaginative and thoughtful, dense with distilled information … LeFanu offers a skilled visual, intellectual and emotional picture of a complex woman.’ Diana Souhami, Independent
‘a fine biography … rich and perceptive … Sarah LeFanu (is) an able and astute judge of Macaulay’s writings’ Miranda Seymour, TLS
‘Sarah LeFanu’s biography glows with lively depiction of Macaulay’s idyllic childhood in Italy, her troubled twenties in Oxford and her survival through both world wars … Rose’s youthful demand that her biography be written in a “bright & popular & yet scholarly style” has been fulfilled.’ Sunday Times
‘an exhilarating book’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Sarah LeFanu’s biography not only captures (that) essence of the woman, but the spirit of the rapidly changing times, putting Rose Macaulay’s writings and life in context, both before and after her death. Highly recommended.’ Afric Hamilton, Irish Examiner
‘The strength of Sarah LeFanu’s biography is the way it captures and animates Macaulay’s social volubility, and especially her genius for unforced gaiety, while at the same time preserving and conveying the deep vein of solitariness and melancholy that ran through her life and her work.’ Alex Clark, Guardian
‘Perfect for anyone interested in unusual women writers.’ Nora Mahony, Irish Times
‘… a subtle, humorous and penetrating biography; much to be recommended.’ Noonie Minogue, The Tablet
This new ebook edition includes the ‘discursive, detailed, original’ endnotes (Independent) properly referenced for the first time and in an easy-to-use one-click format.