Rebecca West was the pen name of Cicely Isabel Fairfield, a British author, journalist, literary critic, and travel writer, born on December 21, 1892, and died on March 15, 1983. An advocate for women's rights and social justice, her works are known for their feminist themes and insightful analysis of cultural and political issues. She is perhaps best known for her book 'Black Lamb and Grey Falcon' (1941), an exploration of Yugoslavian history, and 'The Return of the Soldier' (1918), her first novel. West was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1959 for her contributions to literature.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
"Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" is a comprehensive and detailed travelogue of Yugoslavia, penned by a British author during the brink of World War II. The book beautifully interweaves history, politics, culture, and personal experiences to paint a vivid picture of the Balkan region. It also serves as a profound reflection on the impending war and the author's concerns about the rise of fascism in Europe, making it not just a travel book but also an essential historical document.
"The Thinking Reed" is a novel that explores the complexities of human relationships and societal norms through the eyes of a young American widow living in France. The protagonist navigates the intricacies of French high society while grappling with her own feelings of love and desire for two very different men. The story delves deep into the human psyche, questioning morality, the nature of love, and the struggle for personal freedom.
"The Return of the Soldier" is a poignant story set during World War I, revolving around a British soldier suffering from shell shock-induced amnesia. Upon his return home, he does not remember his wife or his comfortable life of privilege, but instead, recalls his first love and the modest past they shared. The narrative explores the complex dynamics and emotional turmoil experienced by the soldier, his wife, his cousin, and his former sweetheart as they grapple with the consequences of war, memory, and class distinctions.
The novel is a richly detailed family saga set in Edwardian England, focusing on the lives of the Aubrey family through the eyes of one of the daughters, Rose. The family, led by Piers and Clare Aubrey, is eccentric and artistic, with a father who is a charming but irresponsible journalist and a mother who is a talented but unrecognized pianist. The narrative delves into the struggles and joys of the family, particularly the musical education of the children, against a backdrop of social change and personal adversity. Themes of love, poverty, and the pursuit of art are woven throughout the story, as the family navigates the complexities of their lives and the world around them.