Rebecca West


Cicely Isabel Fairfield, known by her pen name Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, DBE was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century.… Read More

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1892 Birth Rebecca West was born Cicely Isabel Fairfield in 1892 in Kerry and grew up in a home full of intellectual stimulation, political debate, lively company, books and music. … Read More


1907 15 Years Old She had to leave school in 1907 due to a bout of tuberculosis. … Read More


1912 20 Years Old In September 1912 West accused the famously libertine writer H. G. Wells of being "the Old Maid among novelists" in a provocative review in Freewoman of his novel Marriage. … Read More
1914 22 Years Old Their 10-year affair produced a son, Anthony West, born on 4 August 1914; their friendship lasted until Wells's death in 1946. … Read More
1916 24 Years Old George Bernard Shaw said in 1916 that "Rebecca West could handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely." … Read More


1930 38 Years Old In 1930, at the age of 37, she married a banker, Henry Maxwell Andrews, and they remained nominally together, despite one public affair just before his death in 1968. … Read More


1936 44 Years Old In 1936–38, she made three trips to Yugoslavia, a country she came to love, seeing it as the nexus of European history since the late Middle Ages. … Read More


1948 56 Years Old Her lifelong fascination with the United States culminated in 1948 when President Truman presented her with the Women's Press Club Award for Journalism, calling her "the world's best reporter."
1950 58 Years Old In 1950 she was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


1960 68 Years Old She also went to South Africa in 1960 to report on Apartheid in a series of articles for the Sunday Times.
1966 74 Years Old She traveled extensively well into old age. In 1966 and 1969, she undertook two long journeys to Mexico, becoming fascinated by the indigenous culture of the country and its mestizo population. … Read More
1968 76 Years Old After her husband's death in 1968, West discovered that her husband had been unfaithful with other women. … Read More
1978 86 Years Old She wrote at an unabated pace, penning masterful reviews for the Sunday Telegraph, publishing her last novel The Birds Fall Down (1966), and overseeing the film version of the story by BBC in 1978. … Read More
1981 89 Years Old Bill Moyers's interview "A Visit With Dame Rebecca West," recorded in her London home when she was 89, was aired by PBS in July 1981. … Read More
1982 90 Years Old West's first novel, The Return of the Soldier, was turned into a major motion picture in 1982, directed by Alan Bridges, starring Alan Bates, Glenda Jackson, and Julie Christie. … Read More
1983 91 Years Old …  She died on 15 March 1983 and is buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking. … Read More
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