This first full-length biography of the celebrated and much-loved novelist Beryl Bainbridge, who died in 2010, draws on a mass of unpublished letters and diaries to reveal the real woman behind the public image. It explores Bainbridge’s difficult childhood in Formby, her career as a young actress at the Liverpool Playhouse, and her life as a single mother and writer in Camden Town. Along the way the book covers her complex private life: her failed marriage to the painter Austin Davies, her affairs, and her longstanding relationship with her publisher, Colin Haycraft.

This frank portrait tells the story of a life that is every bit as dramatic and compelling as Beryl Bainbridge’s perfectly-crafted fictions.

About the author
Brendan King is an author, editor and translator who worked with Beryl for over 20 years and also helped prepare her final novel The Girl in the Polkadot Dress for publication after her death. He has spent five years researching and writing this biography, and tells a wonderful story of her life, her writing and her struggles. Along with a few of her well kept secrets.

Duration

Approx 60 mins

Reviews

"Beryl Bainbridge never let the truth get in the way of a good story, making a biography quite a challenge. Her longtime assistant finds the right balance"
"the account of Bainbridge’s predicament as a gifted, unusual woman negotiating the 20th century amounts to fascinating social history."
"King gets the tone absolutely right."
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