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Olivia Manning: A Life Hardcover – 4 Nov 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; First Edition edition (4 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701177497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701177492
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 773,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The first biography of Olivia Manning, author of The Balkan Trilogy (made into a TV series starring Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson, and based on her extraordinary wartime experiences, during which she managed to keep one step ahead of the Nazis, decamping from Romania to Greece, then Egypt and the Middle East).

From the Publisher

The first biography of Olivia Manning, author of The Balkan Trilogy (made into a TV series starring Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson, and based on her extraordinary wartime experiences, during which she managed to keep one step ahead of the Nazis, decam

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Olivia Manning: A Life I bought this book despite the reviews in the press but because I consider Olivia Manning's two trilogies to be amongst the finest books I've read. True, the biography's style is somewhat pedestrian and there is a certain amount of pure gossip - but, it is written by two close, and not uncritical, friends and as such probably represents as good a picture as we're likely to get of the author and her husband, Reggie Smith - rendered in aspic as Guy Pringle. Given the closeness between Manning's fiction and her own life, this in itself is valuable and, ultimately, moving. It is a pity there is little analysis of the novels or their characters, beyond Guy/Reggie. In particular I am curious about three characters in the trilogies, Charles Warden, Simon Boulderstone and the young Jewish fugitive, all of whom seem to have had particular significance for Harriet Pringle (and Olivia Manning?). Nonetheless, if you value Manning's works, this is well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is the richness of the characterisatio as well as the background action that sustains these novels through two trilogies. It becomes a minor classic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read about Olivia Manning 28 Dec. 2013
By T. Eggebeen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've delighted in her "Fortunes of War" ever since seeing it on TV a good many years ago, and have read it now twice. For me, this work is nothing less than amazing, covering a period of time crucial for the Western World and of great interest to me. The Braybrooke book brings to life a woman of considerable complexity - in many instances, she wasn't a nice person, struggling with lots of inferiority feelings and general crabbiness. Writing at a time when women writers were mostly ignored or relegated to the back pages of reviews, she struggled to find her place in the sun. At times, profoundly jealous of those women who had acquired a degree of recognition she envied. Along with other women, Ms. Manning was a pioneer, and she brought to life in her primary work the lives of some of the most interesting people of fiction I've ever encountered. Knowing Ms. Manning a bit better sheds light on her characters.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AN IMPORTANT LIFE 26 Oct. 2008
By Can Çömlekçi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Olivia Manning's biography is fascinating despite some editorial errors. Manning had an indisputable genius for characterization and putting a domestic face on life in Bucharest, Athens and Cairo during WWII. Manning was not given sufficient recognition during her lifetime. However, this biography, the BBC mini-series Fortunes of War (1987 with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, re-issued on DVD in 2005), and a renewed interest in Manning's novels should hopefully assist in ensuring a place for Manning amongst the other most important novelists of the 20th Century.

Can Çömlekçi
Istanbul Turkey
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