Fun Facts Friday: Rebecca West

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Rebecca West (21 December, 1892 – 15 March, 1983) was a British journalist, author and travel writer.

Books by Rebecca West*
Books by Rebecca West*

  1. The author’s birth name was Cicely Isabel Fairfield, she took her nom de plume from a Henrik Ibsen work called Rosmersholm, who rebellious heroine was of that name while training to be an actress in London.
  2. In 1947 Time called her “indisputably the world’s number one woman writer”.
  3. The Dreyfus affair made a big impression on Ms. West, showing the will to persecute minorities based on weak evidence and mob mentality.
  4. West, a leftist, was against the Bolshevik Revolution, and she paid a heavy price among her friends who refused to admit its failings even when faced with eyewitness accounts.
  5. West understood the evil which the Nazis stood for and attacked the Conservative government for its stance on appeasement, and the Liberal left for their stance on pacifism.
  6. West was a staunch anti-communist, but she never joined the conservative movement which held her in high regard.
  7. She wrote literary criticism for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and The New Republic.
  8. When writing a review of H. G. Wells‘ novel Marriage, Ms. West called the famous author “the Old Maid among novelists”. Mr. Wells’ curiosity picked and Ms. West was invited for lunch. A year later the two writers became lovers and their affair lasted for 10 years, producing a son: Anthony West. The two stayed friends until 1946, when Mr. Wells passed away.
  9. Unfortunately the relationship between mother and son, who inherited the gift of writing from his parents, was not an easy one.
  10. Author Alison Macleod is the niece of Rebecca West.

Books by Rebecca West*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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