Wild Mary

Wild Mary

The Life of Mary Wesley

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
The extraordinary life of novelist Mary Wesley who, in her 70s and 80s, wrote ten amazingly sexy novels, including The Camomile Lawn, which was made into a TV series.

Born Mary Farmar (Wesley was a pen-name, derived from the family name of Wellesley), descended from the Duke of Wellington, she grew up a rebel, believing that she was her mother’s least favourite child. Like many girls of her background, she married for escape, although her first marriage (to Lord Swinfen) was conventional. Her second husband, Eric Siepmann, a writer who never managed to make any money at all, was feckless and bohemian. In between Swinfen and Siepmann, she had a love affair with Czech war hero, Heinz Ziegler — and possibly with his brother at the same time; and in her later years enjoyed a torrid relationship with Robert Bolt.
At the outbreak of the Second World War she was, as she put it, “roped into intelligence,” where she worked on breaking codes. Her experiences in MI5, and her many wartime love affairs, which form the core of this biography, also formed the cores of her novels.

Mary Wesley published her first novel when she was 70, and went on to write nine more bestsellers before her death in 2002 at the age of 89. She, herself, selected Patrick Marnham as her biographer.

Mary Wesley was a pen-name, derived from the family name of Wellesley. She was born Mary Farmar, descended from the Duke of Wellington, and grew up a rebel who believed that she was her mother's least-favourite child. This biography discusses her experiences in MI 5 and her many wartime love affairs.

Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2006
ISBN: 9780701179915
Characteristics: 289 p., [24] p. of plates : ill ; 24 cm


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