English PEN and The London Library celebrate the energetic, fearless and fierce Rebecca West.
Hard as nails… a cross between a charwoman and a gipsy, but as tenacious as a terrier, with flashing eyes… immense vitality… suspicion of intellectuals, and great intelligence…’
So said Virginia Woolf of Rebecca West, prolific author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer and one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. Throughout her incredibly full life she wrote countless works of fiction and non-fiction, travelled the world, fought for women’s suffrage and opposed fascism, covered the Nuremberg trials as a journalist, sheltered Yugoslav refugees on her country estate, had affairs with famous men, had a son with H G Wells, and always spoke her mind.
West was a founding member of English PEN and Vice President of The London Library. As both organisations celebrate our anniversaries, 100 years and 180 years respectively, we, in turn, celebrate one of the most energetic, fearless and fierce figures in our organisations’ histories, with an esteemed panel of West aficionados, Amanda Craig, Geoff Dyer, Lara Feigel and Vesna Goldsworthy, in conversation with Katherine Cooper.
In partnership with The London Library as part of The London Library Lit Fest which celebrates the library’s 180th anniversary.
Image credit: Creative Commons