Rebecca West
British writer
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.
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Rebecca West's personal information overview.
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A Man of Parts - By David Lodge - Book Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
The stupefyingly prolific H. G. Wells published more than a hundred books and slept with “well over a hundred women in his lifetime.” But who’s counting? David Lodge , that’s who. Some of Wells’s works, including the briskly entertaining science fiction classics “The Time Machine” and “The War of the
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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; The Positive That Comes From Negative Reviews
NYTimes - over 5 years
This summer ArtsBeat is inviting members of the theater world to contribute to the weekly Theater Talkback column, alternating with the critics Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood. Writers have examined the challenges of casting the role of Fanny Brice in ''Funny Girl''; unusual settings for Shakespeare stagings; the buzzkill of pre-show
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NYTimes article
Atomic PR's Andy Getsey: Writer, Actor, Director, Producer - Everything PR
Google News - over 5 years
Andy Getsey and his Co-Founders, James Hannon and Rebecca West, created a business imbued in every sense with a forward thinking and innovative mindset. Atomic PR's list of clients is as much a branding exercise for the digital revolution as Wikipedia,
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The Big “R” Theory Known as Realism - Commentary
Google News - over 5 years
With his combination of vast historical knowledge, willingness to travel under the most shabby and dangerous conditions, and his acute powers of observation, he is a fitting heir to Sir Richard Francis Burton, Freya Stark, Rebecca West, and other
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Summertime Book Blues - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
... somewhere enjoying one big fat summer read after another, books like The Name of the Rose, RWB Lewis's biography of Edith Wharton, Hugo Claus's The Sorrow of Belgium, Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, Rebecca West's Black Lamb, Grey Falcon
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Theater Talkback: The Good That Comes From Bad Reviews - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In her classic 1914 essay in The New Republic, “The Duty of Harsh Criticism,” Rebecca West argued that the English arts press had become so reverential that “a new and abusive school of criticism” was necessary. That seems less urgent in the age of the
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Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company Presents Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
Johannes Rosmer, whose insane wife committed suicide one year ago, lives at his familial estate with a housekeeper and Rebecca West, friend and caretaker of his late wife. Rosmer and Rebecca have enjoyed a platonic comradeship through the years that is
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Devil's Bookmark: Atheism for Smarties - Religion Dispatches
Google News - over 5 years
He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual, Rebecca West. Hating God is his third book. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God is a novel that steers
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HG Wells y su 'Venus Urania' - Listín Diario
Google News - over 5 years
Se llamaba Rebecca West, de veinte años, quien era también una talentosa escritora. Aunque era crítica de la obra de HG Wells, iniciaron, por mutua atracción, unas relaciones que durararían diez años de felicidad. Pero Wells echó a perder su paraíso de
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Felicia Muftic: In Bosnia, some changes come slowly - Sky Hi Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
Rebecca West, in her 1941 seminal book on Yugoslav history and culture, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon," reported that soon after marriage, men often beat their wives for no reason just to establish right up front who would be the boss
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Devil's Bookmark: Doubting God's Existence, But Angry Nevertheless - Religion Dispatches
Google News - over 5 years
He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual, Rebecca West. Hating God is his third book. Part One of Bernard Schweizer's essay on James Wood's God-hating novel is here
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The Globe and Mail - Globe and Mail
Google News - over 5 years
He presents nifty bits such as this alongside hundreds of absorbing extracts from a panoply of travel writers, among them Marco Polo, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Evelyn Waugh, Ernest Hemingway, Jan Morris, Rebecca West, TE Lawrence,
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City Gallery offers <i>Under the Radar</i> collector's hour - Charleston City Paper (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
To refresh your memory, exhibited artists include DH Cooper, Rebecca West Fraser, Nina Garner, Conrad Guevara, Greg Hart, Alan W. Jackson, Melinda Mead, and Lauren Frances Moore. Call (843) 958-6484 for more details
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Contemperary Charleston 2011: Under the Radar - TheDigitel
Google News - over 5 years
Open through July 31, 2011, the exhibit showcases drawing, collage, painting, photography and installation works by eight emerging artists creating in the Lowcountry: DH Cooper, Rebecca West Fraser, Nina Garner, Conrad Guevara, Greg Hart,
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The restless mind: the tao of Paul Theroux - The National
Google News - over 5 years
... he offers a treasure trove of writing, combining a distillation of observations from his own work and the writing that has inspired him, ranging from mediaeval times to the present-day and including Freya Stark, Rebecca West, Henry Fielding,
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UK public sector conferences moving to urban venues - Public Sector Travel
Google News - over 5 years
Rebecca West, organiser of CIPFA&#39;s conference and exhibition, used Birmingham for the first time this year. “It used to be a longer event so the seaside fitted that because people took time off work,” she says. “Now it is only three days,
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DJ Taylor: Oh, for the lost days of controversy - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Controversy and extravagant behaviour were everywhere on display. The Indian writer Kushwant Singh deplored Western decadence. Rebecca West is supposed to have wept at sharing a stage with a &quot;pornographer&quot;, by whom she presumably meant Henry Miller
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Ventura County fans line up for 'Harry Potter' film - Ventura County Star
Google News - over 5 years
At the front of the line for the 12:40 am screening was Rebecca West, 18, who arrived at the theatre at 5:30 am Friday to camp out with some friends. &quot;We just wanted to. It&#39;s fun,&quot; she said. It was the first time Kaitlyn Eicher, 16, who arrived at 9 am
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rebecca West
    TEENAGE
  • 1983
    She died on 15 March 1983 and is buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.
    More Details Hide Details On hearing of her death, William Shawn, then editor in chief of The New Yorker, said: Rebecca West was one of the giants and will have a lasting place in English literature. No one in this century wrote more dazzling prose, or had more wit, or looked at the intricacies of human character and the ways of the world more intelligently." West grew up in a home filled with discussions of world affairs. Her father was a journalist who often involved himself in controversial issues. He brought home Russian revolutionaries and other political activists, and their debates helped to form West's sensibility, which took shape in novels such as The Birds Fall Down, set in pre-revolution Russia. But the crucial event that molded West's politics was the Dreyfus affair. The impressionable Rebecca learned early on just how powerful was the will to persecute minorities and to subject individuals to unreasonable suspicion based on flimsy evidence and mass frenzy. West had a keen understanding of the psychology of politics, how movements and causes could sustain themselves on the profound need to believe or disbelieve in a core of values—even when that core contradicted reality.
  • 1982
    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.
    More Details Hide Details More recently, an adaptation of The Return of the Soldier for the stage by Kelly Younger titled Once a Marine took West's theme of shell-shock-induced amnesia and applied it to a soldier returning from the war in Iraq with PTSD. There have been two plays about Rebecca West produced since 2004. That Woman: Rebecca West Remembers, by Carl Rollyson, Helen Macleod, and Anne Bobby, is a one-woman monologue in which an actress playing Rebecca West recounts her life through some of her most famous articles, letters, and books. Tosca's Kiss, a 2006 play by Kenneth Jupp, retells West's experience covering the Nuremberg trials for The New Yorker. Robert D. Kaplan's influential book Balkan Ghosts (1994) is an homage to West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), which he calls "this century's greatest travel book" A 1990s female Canadian rock group headed by Alison Outhit called itself "Rebecca West."
  • 1981
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In a review of the interview, John O'Connor wrote that "Dame Rebecca emerges as a formidable presence. When she finds something or somebody disagreeable, the adjective suddenly becomes withering."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1978
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The last work published in her lifetime was 1900 (1982). 1900 explored the last year of Queen Victoria's long reign, which was a watershed in many cultural and political respects. At the same time, West worked on sequels to her autobiographically inspired novel The Fountain Overflows (1957); although she had written the equivalent of two more novels for the planned trilogy, she was never satisfied with the sequels and did not publish them. She also tinkered at great length with an autobiography, without coming to closure, and she started scores of stories without finishing them. Much of her work from the late phase of her life was published posthumously, including Family Memories (1987), This Real Night (1984), Cousin Rosamund (1985), The Only Poet (1992), and Survivors in Mexico (2003). Unfinished works from her early period, notably Sunflower (1986) and The Sentinel (2001) were also published after her death, so that her oeuvre was augmented by about one third by posthumous publications.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    After her husband's death in 1968, West discovered that her husband had been unfaithful with other women.
    More Details Hide Details She moved to London, where she bought a spacious apartment overlooking Hyde Park. Unfortunately, it was next door to the Iranian embassy. During the May 1980 incident, West, then 87, had to be evacuated. In the last two decades of her life, West kept up a very active social life, making friends with Martha Gellhorn, Doris Lessing, Bernard Levin, comedian Frankie Howerd, and film star and director Warren Beatty, who filmed her for the movie Reds, a biography of journalist John Reed and his connection with the Russian Revolution. She also spent time with scholars such as Jane Marcus and Bonnie Kime Scott, who began to chronicle her feminist career and varied work.
  • 1966
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She stayed with actor Romney Brent in Mexico City and with Katherine (Kit) Wright, a long-time friend, in Cuernavaca. She collected a large number of travel impressions and wrote tens of thousands of words for a "follow-up" volume to Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, tentatively titled "Survivors in Mexico." The work, however, was never finished, and only saw publication posthumously in 2003. Even into her late 70s, she visited Lebanon, Venice, Monte Carlo, and always went back to the United States. Her husband became both sleepy and inattentive as he got older. The sleepiness led to a car accident where no one was hurt but Henry was charged with dangerous driving. He became obsessed by the Norwegian ballerina Gerd Larsen and he would refuse to travel with West but wanted to return to London to be with Larsen. West initially considered this to be purely her husband's infatuation, but she came to think that Larsen was driven by money. At her husband's funeral she had the upsetting problem of Larsen's request to be amongst the mourners, even though she had only known him for 18 months. Henry's will left £5,000 for Larsen.
  • 1960
    She also went to South Africa in 1960 to report on Apartheid in a series of articles for the Sunday Times.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1950
    In 1950 she was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1948
    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."
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1936
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Her non-fiction masterpiece, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is an amalgamation of her impressions from these trips. New York Times reviewer Katherine Woods wrote: "In two almost incredibly full-packed volumes one of the most gifted and searching of modern English novelists and critics has produced not only the magnification and intensification of the travel book form, but, one may say, its apotheosis." West was assigned by Ross' magazine to cover the Nuremberg Trials for The New Yorker, an experience she memorialized in the book A Train of Powder.
  • 1930
    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.
    More Details Hide Details West's writing brought her considerable wealth, and by 1940 she owned a Rolls Royce and a grand country estate, Ibstone House, in the Chiltern Hills of southern England. During World War II, West housed Yugoslav refugees in the spare rooms of her blacked-out manor, and she used the grounds as a small dairy farm and vegetable plot, agricultural pursuits that continued long after the war had ended. As West grew older, she turned to broader political and social issues, including humankind's propensity to inflict violent injustice on itself. Before and during World War II, West traveled widely, collecting material for books on travel and politics.
  • 1916
    George Bernard Shaw said in 1916 that "Rebecca West could handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely."
    More Details Hide Details During the 1920s, West began a lifelong habit of visits to the U.S. to give lectures, meet artists, and get involved in the political scene. There, she befriended CIA founder Allen Dulles, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Ross of The New Yorker, and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., among many other significant figures of the day.
  • 1914
    Their 10-year affair produced a son, Anthony West, born on 4 August 1914; their friendship lasted until Wells's death in 1946.
    More Details Hide Details West is also said to have had affairs with Charlie Chaplin and newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook. West established her reputation as a spokesperson for feminist and socialist causes and as a critic, turning out essays and reviews for The New Republic, New York Herald Tribune, New York American, New Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, and many more newspapers and magazines.
  • 1912
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The review attracted Wells's interest and an invitation to lunch at his home. The two writers became lovers in late 1913.
  • 1907
    She had to leave school in 1907 due to a bout of tuberculosis.
    More Details Hide Details Cicely did not have any formal schooling after the age of 16, due to lack of funds. She had two older sisters. Letitia ("Lettie"), who was the best educated of the three, became one of the first fully qualified female doctors in Britain, as well as a barrister at the Inns of Court. Winifred ("Winnie"), the middle sister, married Norman Macleod, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Admiralty, and eventually director general of Greenwich Hospital. Winnie's two children, Alison and Norman, became closely involved in Rebecca's life as she got older; Alison Macleod would achieve a literary career of her own. West trained as an actress in London, taking the name "Rebecca West" from the rebellious young heroine in Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen. She and Lettie became involved in the women's suffrage movement, participating in street protests. Meanwhile, West worked as a journalist for the feminist weekly Freewoman and the Clarion, drumming up support for the suffragette cause.
  • 1892
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Her mother, Isabella, a Scotswoman, was an accomplished pianist but did not pursue a musical career after her marriage to Charles Fairfield. Charles, an Anglo-Irish journalist of considerable reputation but financial incompetence, deserted his family when Cicely was eight years old. He never rejoined them and died impoverished and alone in a boarding house in Liverpool in 1906, when Cicely was 14. The rest of the family moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where Cicely was educated at George Watson's Ladies College.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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