Born in 1892, the young actress Cicely Fairfield changed her name to that of the heroine of Ibsen's Rosmersholm - Rebecca West. This definitive biography charts the life and work of this major writer, best remembered for her classic travelogue Black Lamb, Grey Falcon, set in pre-war Yugoslavia. It explores her commitment to feminism and socialism, her notorious affair with HG Wells, and her troubled relationship with their son Anthony, creating a subtle and sympathetic portrait of this fiercely intelligent woman.