Little is known of Val Hennessy in what one might call literary (dread word!) circles, other than that, for a short time in the late Sixties (loathesome decade!) she was married to Christopher Isherwood. What quirk of fate, one now wonders, was it that brought them together? Isherwood seemed strangely attracted by her penchant for plain-speaking: she had described TS Eliots ‘The Wasteland’ as ‘a handjob by a pain-in-the-arse’ in a lengthy article for Connolly’s Horizon. She, in turn, had simply adored the film of Cabaret, though she found the book ‘a bit wordy’.
It was not long, alas, before the two of them came to blows. Closeted in Issyvoo’s Californian retreat, Hennessy yearned for something more. They fell out over literary matters (‘If you are a camera’ screamed Hennessy, throwing a first edition of Goodbye to Berlin at its author, ‘Then I’m a