Wild Mary: The Life Of Mary WesleyMary Wesley was a pen-name, derived from the family name of Wellesley. She was born Mary Farmar, descended from the Duke of Wellington, and grew up a rebel who believed that she was her mother's least-favourite child. This biography discusses her experiences in MI 5 and her many wartime love affairs.
by Patrick Marnham
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Wild Mary: The Life Of Mary Wesley Summary
Mary Wesley published her first novel when she was 70 - and went on to write 9 more bestsellers before her death in 2002 at the age of 89. Wesley was a pen-name, derived from the family name of Wellesley. She was born Mary Farmar, descended from the Duke of Wellington, and grew up a rebel who believed that she was her mother's least-favourite child. Like many girls of her background, she married for escape; but her first marriage (to Lord Swinfen) was conventional. Her second husband, Eric Siepmann, a writer who never managed to make any money at all, was feckless and bohemian. In between Swinfen and Siepmann, she had a love affair with Czech war-hero, Heinz Ziegler - and possibly with his brother at the same time; and in her later years enjoyed a torrid relationship with Robert Bolt. At the outbreak of the Second World War she was, as she put it, 'roped into intelligence', where she worked on breaking codes. Her experiences in MI 5 and her many wartime love affairs, which form the core of this biography, also formed the cores of her novels. She wrote about the atmosphere of the home front, and how war dislocates families, and how a sense of the imminence of death loosens the inhibitions - her novels are sexy and witty. She also drew on her love and knowledge of Cornwall.
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Wild Mary: The Life Of Mary Wesley
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