Red Wheelbarrow Book Reviews

Renee Abigail Penelope Harold Meg

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from Renée's Reviews




by Sybille Bedford
Hamish Hamilton hardcover

This is a book for people like me who love the literary gossip of the sophisticated Anglo-French during the twenties and thirties in France, Italy and England. They are all there with wives or husbands and or lovers. They live on the Mediterranean if at all possible, they hate what is happening in the political world in Germany and Italy and Spain, they manage to always have money even though they never have employment but there are, always some rich patrons, sponsors, lovers who will pay their bills. Their lives seem wasted to us - few of them actually produced art of lasting value. There was Aldous Huxley, all the Mann family, some Auden, but mostly the people mentioned live the easy life. Bedford herself lived a most precarious life of poverty, good society, an inability to get any work done and under a real threat regarding her political future with a German passport about to expire and the refusal of the authorities to grant her the right to marry an Englishman to obtain her papers. She succeeds at the last possible minute before expulsion from England and thus Sybille von Schoenebeck becomes Mrs. Walter Bedford.

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