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Hilary Spurling (Susan Hilary Spurling) Biography

(1940– ), (Susan Hilary Spurling), Spectator, Ivy when Young, Secrets of a Woman's Heart

British biographer, the wife of playwright John Spurling, born in Stockport, educated at Somerville College, Oxford. She was theatre critic with the Spectator from 1964 to 1970, when she became a freelance writer. Ivy when Young (1974) and Secrets of a Woman's Heart (1984) are the two parts of her biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett, which gained her a high reputation among contemporary biographers for its imaginatively intense treatment of an externally uneventful life. Ivy: The Life of Ivy Compton Burnett appeared in 1995. Paul Scott (1990) is also highly regarded for its revealing analytical study of Scott's complex personality and its detailed depiction of his social milieu. Spurling's other works include Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book (1986), a practical guide to Elizabethan cookery, and her ‘handbook’ to Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time, which was originally published in 1977 and reissued in 1992 as An Invitation to the Dance.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Souvenirs to St Joan of the Stockyards (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe)