Olivia Manning's personality was as idiosyncratic her novels. Her husband, Reggie Smith, was equally a "character"a BBC producer, self-proclaimed communist, and life-long philanderer. Both indulged in affairs, but their unusual marriage was sustained by his lifelong support for his wife's gifts. They became the center of London literary life, numbering among their close friends Iris Murdoch, Muriel Spark, Stevie Smith, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Anthony Burgess, and Laurence Durrell."

Olivia Manning: A Life 2004, Chatto & Windus, London, England

ISBN-13: 9780701177492