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A Curious Friendship

The Story of a Bluestocking and a Bright Young Thing

4.23 based on 34 ratings & 11 reviews on Goodreads.com

Synopsis

'I loved A Curious Friendship. Anna Thomasson, in her first book, has brilliantly captured this strange coterie.' Sir Roy Strong

The winter of 1924: Edith Olivier, alone for the first time at the age of 51, thought her life had come to an end. For Rex Whistler, a 19-year-old art student, life was just beginning. They were to start an intimate and unlikely friendship that would transform their lives. Gradually Edith's world opened up and she became a writer. Her home, the Daye House, in a wooded corner of the Wilton estate, became a sanctuary for Whistler and the other brilliant and beautiful younger men of her circle: among them Siegfried Sassoon, Stephen Tennant, William Walton, John Betjeman, the Sitwells and Cecil Beaton - for whom she was 'all the muses'.

The story is set against the backdrop of a period that spanned the madcap parties of the 1920s, the sophistication of the 1930s and the drama and austerity of the Second World War. With an extraordinary cast of friends and acquaintances, from the Royal Family to Tallulah Bankhead, Anna Thomasson's A Curious Friendship brings to life, for the first time, the curious, unlikely and fascinating friendship of a bluestocking and a bright young thing.

In the media

Anna Thomasson tells her story well, her suggestions are shrewd, her prose pleasant, both are backed by much research.
Oldie

Reverent and sympathetic, and often fascinating

Independent
A Curious Friendship tells the story of Rex Whistler and Edith Olivier with haunting novelistic intensity - a remarkable first book.
Observer Best Books of 2015