• A wonderful biography... Hastings... is an accomplished stylist and her prose suits her subject: elegant, deft and restrained

    Sara Wheeler, Spectator
  • [An] elegantly written, intimate biography... This is a remarkably candid, minutely detailed and compulsively readable book about a life lived to the full

    Rebecca Wallersteiner, Lady
  • So good, so full of naughty detail, evocation and grudging affection that you can enjoy it without ever having to read the works of Sybille Bedford

    Barry Humphries, Oldie
  • Selina Hastings's wonderful, gossipy biography is a gem, revealing not just the shy writer, but also the colourful, turbulent 20th-century literary world in which she lived

    Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times, *Books of the Year*
  • Sybille Bedford is not a household name, but among her coterie of admirers in Europe and America she is held in high esteem . . . [Bedford's life is] elegantly related by Selina Hastings, the author of finely wrought, literate biographies . . . It is to be hoped that Sybille Bedford, a largely sympathetic and very readable biography, will bring new readers to Bedford's oeuvre . . . [Bedford's] works are dense, exotic, rich with historical hindsight. In a life that spanned most of the 20th century, she lived that century in all its high drama and delivers it to the 21st in idiosyncratic, textured prose

    Brooke Allen, New York Times
  • An extraordinary story

    Laura Freeman, The Times
  • Hastings's approach to Bedford's biography is [. . .] judicial. She enters her subject's life through a side door, puts her witnesses in the box, and hears the evidence for and against Bedford's literary merit. . . . The biographer's task is to preside over the rituals by which the truth is formally established by presenting, without prejudice, a full range of critical opinion

    Frances Wilson, New York Review of Books
  • A fantastic read... I can't express how wonderful her novels are, or this biography, which brings a fundamentally shy and private woman out into the light and is populated by the sorts of people who don't seem to exist any more - madly clever, slightly louche, culturally omnivorous, sexually fluid, crisscrossing Europe and each other in search of fun and new ideas.

    India Knight, Sunday Times
  • [A] richly entertaining biography

    Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Daily Mail, *Book of the Year*
  • I found myself gripped from the first page to the last, astonished by the pace of revelation

    Barnaby Rogerson, Oldie

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