The authorised, and astonishing, biography of Mary Wesley
Patrick Marnham was born in Jerusalem, educated at Oxford and is a member of the English Bar. He is the author of eleven books, has been translated into seven languages and has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Prize, the Marsh Biography Award, and was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award in 1994. He started his career as a reporter on Private Eye and has contributed to many newspapers including The Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer, New York Times and Washington Post. He has been literary editor of the Spectator, was the first Paris correspondent of the Independent, and has worked as a BBC scriptwriter and broadcaster and as a special correspondent and war reporter.
"Much of the fascination of Marnham's well-researched and admirably impartial book is that it reveals just how autobiographical Wesley's fiction was" -- Miranda Seymour * Sunday Times *
"[A] fast-paced riveting biography" -- Valerie Grove * The Times *
"A striking portrait not only of an amazing, if strange, woman but of an entire social class" -- Rachel Cooke * Evening Standard *
"Unpicks the complicated web of deceits and half-truths that surrounded much of her life with wit, patience and skill, providing just the sort of compelling read that Wesley did in her novel" * Independent *
"This biography is pure pleasure, a riveting, hilarious tragicomedy of manners... Marnham has disentangled truth from rumour, clarified the many connections between Wild Mary's rackety life and Mary Wesley's fiction, and produced a generous, unsentimental and intelligent portrait of a woman's life and times" * Spectator *