Readers of The New Criterion will not need an introduction to Rebecca West. Yet even those familiar with her life and work will find startling new material in this superbly edited collection of her correspondence. Although West was always outspoken, her letters reveal a behind-the-scenes candor that provides insight into her reporting on the suffragists, the New Deal, Yugoslavia, the Nuremberg Trials, the Cold War, Communism, and much more. Devotees of her great novels, The Fountain Overflows and The Birds Fall Down, will be granted a new awareness of their autobiographical and historical roots.

Born in 1892, West remembered the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the sight of soldiers returning from the Boer War. This collection begins with a letter to The Scotsman (October 16, 1907) in which a fourteen-year-old West (still using her family name, Cicily Isabel Fairfield, but already a feminist and a...


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