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Rupert Hart-Davis

by Philip Ziegler

Rupert Hart-Davis Synopsis

Rupert Hart-Davis (1907-1999) not only founded a prestigious publishing company; he also involved himself vigorously in literary politics. His story is the story of literary life in the 20th century. He worked for William Heinemann and Jonathan Cape (who sacked him), and numbered among his close friends Duff and Diana Cooper, Peter and Ian Fleming, Arthur Ransome, John Betjeman, Eric Linklater and Joyce Grenfell. His mother - to whom he was obsessively devoted - died when he was at Oxford. Desolated, he left without a degree, to try his hand at acting. He played alongside Richardson, Gielgud and Olivier - and found himself having to choose between two attractive young actresses: Celia Johnson and Peggy Ashcroft. When he told Celia he was marrying Peggy, she broke down in tears. The marriage didn't last, and Rupert went on to marry three more times. Before marrying his colleague, Ruth Simon, he lived for some years with his wife, Comfort, in the country at weekends, and with Ruth in London during the working week. After Ruth's death, he married his secretary June, with whom he lived in retirement in his beloved Yorkshire dales.

Rupert Hart-Davis Press Reviews

'Ziegler analyses the complexities of appearance and character with nicely balanced candour, affection and wit.' * Patrick Skene Catling, Sunday Telegraph * 'A vivid picture of publishing in the middle years of the twentieth century.' * Rodney Milnes, Spectator * 'Ziegler's thorough book contains all the trademark brilliance and wisdom for which his readers admire him.' * Douglas Murray, Observer * 'A judicious, detailed, well-researched, readable portrait, embracing both the public and private man.' * Anthony Curtis, Times Literary Supplement *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780712694414
Publication date: 4th August 2005
Author: Philip Ziegler
Publisher: Pimlico an imprint of Vintage Publishing
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 352 pages
Categories: Biography: business & industry, Publishing industry & book trade,

About Philip Ziegler

Philip Ziegler is one of Britain's finest biographers. His previous subjects have included Diana Cooper, Mountbatten, Edward VIII, Harold Wilson and Osbert Sitwell. He is a historian of the Black Death and has also written London at War, the history of the Blitz, and Soldiers, which was based on interviews with Chelsea Pensioners.

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