Wild Mary : The Life of Mary Wesley, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Mary Wesley published her first novel at seventy and went on to write a further nine bestsellers, including the legendary The Camomile Lawn, in a style best described as arsenic without the old lace.

Many of her stories were inspired by her experiences during the Blitz, and by her marriages: the first to an aristocrat, a brief and conventional affair, and the second to a penniless writer she adored.

A remarkable book about a remarkable woman, Patrick Marnham's brilliantly researched and wonderfully impartial book disentangles truth from rumour, highlighting the links between Wesley's real life and her fiction.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations, ports.
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099498179



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A fascinating insight into the life of Mary Wesley. If you thought some of her characters and story lines were a little far fetched read this biography and you'll see her own life was as outrageous, tragic and hilarious as that of her characters. Well written too!

Review by

While I won't say this is the most stunningly written biography I've ever read, Wesley's life was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages, even if not compulsively. Since I'm looking at it from a research POV, I appreciated the fact that most of the book involved her life before she became a writer -- there's plenty of post-publication documentation on the record. Still, he did a very thorough job and her voice comes through the narrative, which is a good thing.

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