Elizabeth and her German Garden became something of a cult when it was published in 1898, reprinting 21 times by the following year. There was much speculation about the identity and sex of its author (in the new Virago edition Elizabeth Jane Howard has written a lively summary of her biography), but even with the twenty-one books she went on to write, ‘Elizabeth’ retained her anonymity.
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'She drank a lot of wine and some of the great bottles she savoured are listed here. But her biggest appetite was for love, no doubt fuelled ... by the lack of it in her early childhood.'
Cressida Connolly reviews a new biography of Sybille Bedford.
I have just spent a wonderful few minutes re-reading the best book review of the year in my opinion. It's by Piers Brendon in September's issue of @Lit_Review. Beautifully captioned as 'Jack the Lad', Brendon takes Fredrik Logevall's JFK: Vol.I apart! It's a laugh a minute. Ouch!
'Perhaps the real modern polymaths are the hidden ones who do not themselves grab the limelight but have the expertise to bring together different fields of knowledge: librarians, teachers, editors of literary journals…'