Jeremy Lewis

Back in Print

Earlier this year I received a phone call from the publisher John Seaton, who after many years with Penguin had recently moved to Faber. He wanted to know whether, by any chance, I happened to know who controlled the rights to the waspish and extremely funny memoirs of Barbara Skelton, the pantherine femme fatale who had been married to both Cyril Connolly and George Weidenfeld, and had included among her lovers Kenneth Tynan, Alan Ross, Feliks Topolski, Peter Quennell and King Farouk (who had flogged her with his dressing-gown cord on the steps of his palace – or so she claimed). I had got to know Barbara while writing a biography of Connolly, and since – for some inexplicable reason – she had appointed me to be her literary executor, I expressed keen interest when John revealed that he wanted to reprint Tears Before Bedtime and Weep No More in a new series he was editing. Life got even better when he went on to say that he would also like to include two out-of-print books of mine in the Faber Finds list, along with works by Richard Cobb, John Bowen, Lionel Davidson, Geoffrey Grigson and Louis MacNeice. I put the phone down aglow with satisfaction.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • He has 'raised his country’s international influence to unprecedented heights, while at the same time jailing hundr… ,
    • 'It is one of those nice linguistic ironies that English should have attempted to make sex respectable by clothing… ,
    • 'He was to my mind the father of the idea that journalism – yes, even journalism – can have a moral dimension to it… ,
    • RT : Feeling old, as exhumes a piece I wrote 37 years ago. But a joy to see Kathy O’S there too. Here’s why:… ,
    • 'Enough of his character remains just out of reach for Barnes to relish the challenge of imagining him.' Patrick M… ,
    • RT : I did a thing about the new Penguin Book Of Oulipo for this month’s Literary Review: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,