Hilary Spurling has specialized in uncovering secrets kept - in the words of Ivy Compton-Burnett - through long lives and on death-beds'. She won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Heinemann Award for Ivy, and her Paul Scott was rated by reviewers as one of the best biographies written since the war.
Hilary Spurling was born in England and educated at Oxford University. From 1964 to 1970 she was theatre critic and literary editor of the Spectator. Since then she has been a regular book reviewer for the Observer and the Daily Telegraph. She lives in London with her husband, the playwright John Spurling, with whom she has three children.
Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year 2005. If you have ever wondered how anyone with such a tame, dull public image as Matisse could have painted such rich, powerfull, mysteriously moving pictures, let alone produced the radical cut-paper and stained glass inventions of his last years, here is the answer. They were made by the real Matisse, whose true story has been written down at last from start to finish by his biographer, Hilary Spurling.
BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017 in The Sunday Times, Spectator, Mail on Sunday, Observer and Financial Times 'A landmark biography' The Times, Books of the Year 'One of our generation's greatest biographers' London Review of Books 'Witty, spirited, richly crowded with incident and character - a joy to read' Prospect From the author of the prize-winning Matisse The Master comes an essential biography of one of 20th century Britain's greatest literary minds Anthony Powell: the literary genius who gave us A Dance to the Music of Time, an epic twelve spectacular volume cyle of novels about twentieth century British society. This comic masterpiece teems with idiosyncratic characters, capturing Britain through war and peace in all its eccentricity. And it was inspired by the author's own life immersed in rich social intrigue - debutante balls, penniless muses, publisher feuds, summers on the French Riviera, weekend parties at country houses, and friendships with everyone from Evelyn Waugh to Graham Greene to VS Naipaul... Hilary Spurling brings all this back to vivid life, investigating the friends, relations, lovers and acquaintances, fools and savants who surrounded Anthony Powell, and who he immortalised in his magnificent literary legacy. * Discover Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time series, available in paperback and e-book from Arrow.
BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017 in The Sunday Times, Spectator, Mail on Sunday, Observer andFinancial Times 'A landmark biography' The Times, Books of the Year 'One of our generation's greatest biographers' London Review of Books 'Witty, spirited, richly crowded with incident and character - a joy to read' Prospect The long-awaited portrait of a literary master from one of our generation's greatest biographers, author of the definitive and acclaimed Matisse: The Life Anthony Powell: the literary genius who gave us A Dance to the Music of Time, an undisputed classic of English literature. Spanning twelve spectacular volumes and written over twenty-five years, his comic masterpiece teems with idiosyncratic characters, capturing twentieth century Britain through war and peace. Drawing on Powell's letters and journals, and the memories of those who knew him, Hilary Spurling explores his life. Investigating the friends, relations, lovers, acquaintances, fools and geniuses who surrounded him, she reveals the comical and tragic events that inspired one of the greatest fictions of the age. * Discover Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time series, available in paperback and e-book from Arrow.
'Inspired, innovative, remarkable' Independent 'Spurling has done better than anyone else at uncovering intimate information about Matisse' Guardian The abridged, one-volume edition of Hilary Spurling's critically acclaimed biography of Henri Matisse, one of the greatest artistic geniuses of the twentieth century Henri Matisse was one of the most important and beloved artists of the twentieth century, rivalled only by his friend and competitor Pablo Picasso. Hilary Spurling's The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master were together heralded as the definitive biography of the artist, and Matisse the Master went on to win the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2005. This essential abridged edition of the Life reveals the origins of Matisse's astonishing talent, provides a unique insight into his life and work, and, by documenting the difficult path he took alone, clearly places him at the front rank of those who made art modern.
Brilliantly compiled and presented by the celebrated biographer, Hilary Spurling, Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book has become a classic in the history of English cooking, and an extraordinarily intimate glimpse into the fabric of everyday Elizabethan life. 'Hilary Spurling has done brilliantly ... Being both a scholar and a cook seems to be a rare combination than one might have expected.' Jane Grigson 'Few cookery books are as important or as fascinating as this ... (Hilary Spurling's) scholarly and practical skills combined make the book much more than an antiquarian curiosity. It is a cookery book to use.' Victoria Glendinning, The Times 'Hilary Spurling's research into Lady Fettiplace's family and background is stunning. She and her household do really come to life ... Hilary Spurling's pinpointing of her precise social standing and that of her intimates and acquaintances, of the kind of lives they led, consequently the kind of food they ate, the way it was prepared, preserved and so on, are all subjects of the greatest interest.' Elizabeth David
A unique reference book for all fans of Anthony Powell's 12-volume novel, A Dance to the Music of Time, which has become a literary landmark of twentieth-century writing. More than a simple glossary, Invitation to the Dance contains extensive Character, Book, Painting and Place indices, creating a magnificent database of Powell's imagination and England's cultural landscape. This is a masterpiece of 'extreme ingenuity' detailing over four hundred characters and one million words of Powell's lively fifty-year dance of fiction and fact. 'Hilary Spurling's exhaustive analysis of the novel's characters supplies a master-key for the reader of Anthony Powell.
Absorbing and provocative, a biography of George Orwell's controversial second wife from the Whitbread Prize-winning author of Matisse the Master and Anthony Powell Just three months before his death, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four took a new wife. Sonia Brownell was model for Julia in Orwell's most famous novel, she was fifteen years younger than her husband, and after his death she was hounded and pilloried as a manipulative gold-digger who would stop at nothing to keep control of the literary legacy. But the truth about Sonia was altogether different. Beautiful, intelligent and fiercely idealistic, she lived at the heart of London's literary and artistic scene before her marriage to Orwell changed her life for ever. Those who knew her - Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus - witnessed her great personal generosity. And yet, burdened with the almost impossible task of protecting Orwell's intellectual estate, Sonia's loyalty to her late husband brought her nothing but poverty and despair.