Astonishing... What makes her work so singularly absorbing is the complete sympathy she somehow pairs with her characteristic detachment. -- Benjamin Schwartz Atlantic Monthly One of the great classic English biographies...unforgettably profound and unsparing...as forbidding to competitors as Boswellis life of Johnson. -- Philip Hensher The Spectator Bedford drew on firsthand experience while writing this 1974 biography of Huxley, with whom she was friends for 40 years. She also had access to his diaries and personal papers as well as the cooperation of family and other friends. Her novelist's style makes for a very readable account. Library Journal Her novelist's eye brings the writer to life. Huxley becomes a living, deeply attractive presence, while his great contemporaries flash through these pages in memorable and moving encounters. Mrs. Bedford's biography stands as the major work on a major figure in the literary and intellectual history of the twentieth century. -- V. S. PritchettVom Verlag:
In this dazzling conjunction of subject and author, the great English novelist Aldous Huxley, the "wholly civilized man," is brought wholly alive in a magnificent full-scale biography by the brilliant English novelist Sybille Bedford, an intimate friend of the Huxleys through four decades. With a pointillistic richness of moment, place, and talk, she re-creates not only the private Huxley and the literary Huxley but the entire intellectual and social era to which he was central. Despite the almost total loss of his sight at age sixteen, Huxley became a titan and cultural hero of the decades after World War I, on terms with the outstanding writers and artists of his day, from D. H. Lawrence to Stravinksy and Auden. He had two separate and large careers as Crome Yellow and Point Counter Point, flag-bearer of England's Bright Young People through the 1920s, and romancer of glittering women; and later, in America, as the increasingly philosophical and utopian thinker, and a pioneering explorer of the frontiers of the human mind. Drawing on his letters and diaries, the memories of his intimates, and her own sharp and sensitive comprehension of Huxley's writings, Mrs. Bedford has written a masterful biography. "Her novelist's eye," writes V. S. Pritchett, "brings the writer to life. Huxley becomes a living, deeply attractive presence, while his great contemporaries flash through these pages in memorable and moving encounters. Mrs. Bedford's biography stands as the major work on a major figure in the literary and intellectual history of the twentieth century."
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