Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923-2014) wrote brilliant novels about what love can do to people, but in her own life the lasting relationship she sought so ardently always eluded her. Her first novel, The Beautiful Visit, won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize - she went on to write fourteen more, of which the best-loved were the five volumes in the The Cazalet Chronicles.
Following her divorce from Peter Scott, Jane embarked on a string of high-profile affairs turned her into a literary femme fatale. She settled in Suffolk where she wrote and entertained friends, but her turbulent love life was not over yet. In her early seventies Jane fell for a conman. His unmasking was the final disillusion, and inspired one of her most powerful novels, Falling.
Artemis Cooper interviewed Jane several times in Suffolk. She also talked extensively to her family, friends and contemporaries, and had access to all her papers. Her biography explores a woman trying to make sense of her life through her writing, as well as illuminating the literary world in which she lived.
Artemis Cooper is a renowned writer. Her recent publications include a biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor (as well as editor of his unfinished memoir ‘The Broken Road’ and ‘Words of Mercury’), ‘Cairo in the War’ and ‘Elizabeth David’. She is married to the historian Antony Beevor.