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Hilary Spurling was born in 1940 in Stockport England. She attended Somerville College in Oxford. She bacame the arts and theater critic for The Spectator during the 1960's. She was also the reviewer for The Observer and The Daily Telegraph. She has written several biographies including Pearl Buck in China and Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954, which won the 2005 Whitebread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Book Prize for Biography in 2006. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from The Unknown Matisse… (more)
Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book (Editor, some editions) 126 copies, 4 reviews
Mother and Son (Introduction, some editions) 93 copies, 1 review
Two Worlds and Their Ways (Introduction, some editions) 73 copies
A Half of Two Lives (Introduction) 12 copies
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Hilary Spurling, née Forrest, was born in Stockport, England. She was educated at Clifton High School and graduated from Oxford University. She became arts editor, theater critic, and then literary editor of The Spectator, and a regular book reviewer for The Observer and the Daily Telegraph. In 1961, she married playwright John Spurling, with whom she had three children. Her first book was a biography of novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett, published in two volumes: Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919 (1974) and Secrets of a Woman's Heart: The Later Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1920-1969 (1984). She is also the author of a biography of the novelist Paul Scott and of the painter Henri Matisse, published in two volumes in 1998 and 2005. The latter volume, Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954 (2005) won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award.

The Girl from the Fiction Department (2002), is about Sonia Orwell, George Orwell's wife and literary executor.
Spurling won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China (2010). Her most recent book was Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time (2017).
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