Literary Reputations

Brendan King

Beryl Bainbridge: Love by All Sorts of Means

  • 15
  • Oct




Black and white image of Brandan King leaning on a wallpapered wall, with a large flowered print on it

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the best loved English novelists of her generation. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times and her critically acclaimed novels including The Dressmaker, An Awfully Big Adventure and Master Georgie are considered modern classics. Unforgettable in person, Beryl Bainbridge was famous for her gregarious personality and unconventional lifestyle. Yet underneath the public image of a quirky eccentric lay a complex inner life that was only hinted at in her novels.

In this first full-length biography, Brendan King draws on unpublished letters and diaries to reveal the real woman behind the image. He explores Bainbridge's difficult childhood in Formby, her career as a young actress at the Liverpool Playhouse, and her life as a writer in Camden Town – a life story every bit as dramatic and compelling as one of her own novels.

Brendan King is an author, editor and translator. Between 1987 and 2010 he worked for Bainbridge, and helped prepare her final novel The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress for publication after her death. Brendan will be in conversation with Matthew Frost.