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Wild Mary: The Life Of Mary Wesley Paperback – 3 May 2007
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"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)
The authorised, and astonishing, biography of Mary Wesley.See all Product description
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This is an interesting, very readable and well-researched account, and although Mr Marnham’s account becomes just a little repetitive towards the end of the biography, he does well in unraveling the complicated life of his subject, especially as Mary Wesley had many sides to her personality and lived her life in “separate compartments.” Also, although Mr Marnham is sympathetic in his approach, he does not shy away from revealing the less admirable aspects of his subject’s character and comments how Mary herself was critical of some of her actions - especially when she was younger and living life to the full during the war, totally aware that one didn’t know whether one would live or die. As an admirer of Mary Wesley’s novels (I love her style of writing, her unconventional characters and her black sense of humour), I would have appreciated a little more detail about her books, but this is not meant to be a work of literary criticism, and for those who have not read all of her novels and might not appreciate too much information about the books’ plots, this lack of analysis is most probably a good thing. All in all, an enjoyable, informative and entertaining account of an unusual and intriguing woman and as I have just purchased ‘Darling Pol: Letters of Mary Wesley and Eric Siepmann 1944-1967', which is edited by Patrick Marnham, I am looking forward to reading and reviewing that soon.
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