Rebecca West

Novelist, Author

1892 – 1983

 Credit ยป

Who was Rebecca West?

Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield DBE, better known as Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. She reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and the New Republic, and she was a correspondent for The Bookman. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, on the history and culture of Yugoslavia; A Train of Powder, her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, published originally in The New Yorker; The Meaning of Treason, later The New Meaning of Treason, a study of World War II and Communist traitors; The Return of the Soldier, a modernist World War I novel; and the "Aubrey trilogy" of autobiographical novels, The Fountain Overflows, This Real Night, and Cousin Rosamund. Time called her "indisputably the world's number one woman writer" in 1947. She was made CBE in 1949, and DBE in 1959, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to British letters.

Famous Quotes:

  • Now different races and nationalities cherish different ideals of society that stink in each other's nostrils with an offensiveness beyond the power of any but the most monstrous private deed.
  • In England and America a beard usually means that its owner would rather be considered venerable than virile; on the continent of Europe it often means that its owner makes a special claim to virility.
  • People call me feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
  • He is every other inch a gentleman.
  • Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
  • All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.
  • I wonder if we are all wrong about each other, if we are just composing unwritten novels about the people we meet?
  • There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.
  • Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
  • Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Dec 21, 1892
Also known as
  • Cicily Isabel Fairfield
  • Cicely Isabel Fairfield
  • Dame Rebecca West
  • Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield, DBE
  • Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield
  • United Kingdom
  • England
  • George Watson's College
Lived in
  • London
Mar 15, 1983
Resting place
Brookwood Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Rebecca West." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 25 Sep. 2022. <>.

Discuss this Rebecca West biography with the community: