Victoria Glendinning

Party People

A Curious Friendship: The Story of a Bluestocking and a Bright Young Thing

By

Macmillan 512pp £20 order from our bookshop

The subtitle is seductive. But she was not really much of a bluestocking, and he was rather insecure as a Bright Young Thing. They met in 1925, when Rex Whistler was a 19-year-old art student and Edith Olivier was the unmarried 52-year-old daughter of a vicar. She was clever, opinionated and a passionate reader. In her youth she won a scholarship to Oxford but left after four terms because of her asthma. She would have remained a ‘county’ spinster, devoted to religion, local affairs and good works, had she not met Whistler, who became the emotional focus of the rest of her life.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,