Gillian Freeman

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Gillian Freeman (born 5 December 1929)[1] is a British writer.

Born to Jewish parents Dr. Jack Freeman and his wife Freda (née Davids) in North London,[2] she graduated in English Language and Literature from the University of Reading in 1951. She married Edward Thorpe, novelist and ballet critic of the Evening Standard, in 1955.[3] They have two daughters, the actresses Harriet Thorpe and Matilda Thorpe.

One of her best known books was the 1961 novel The Leather Boys (published under the pseudonym Eliot George, a reference to the writer George Eliot), a story of a gay relationship between two young working-class men, later turned into a film for which she wrote the screenplay, this time under her own name. The novel was commissioned by the publisher Anthony Blond, who wanted a story about a "Romeo and Romeo in the South London suburbs".[4] Her non-fiction book The Undergrowth of Literature (1967), was a pioneering study of pornography.[5] In 1979, on another commission from Blond, she wrote a fictional diary, Nazi Lady: The Diaries of Elisabeth von Stahlenberg, 1938–48; Freeman's authorship was not at first revealed and many readers took it to be genuine.[6] Her most recent book is But Nobody Lives in Bloomsbury (2006), a fictional study of the Bloomsbury Group.


  • The Liberty Man, 1955
  • Fall of Innocence, 1956
  • Jack Would be a Gentleman, 1959
  • The Story of Albert Einstein, 1960
  • The Leather Boys, 1961
  • The Campaign, 1963
  • The Leather Boys (screenplay), 1964
  • Only Lovers Left Alive (screenplay), 1965
  • The Leader, 1965
  • The Undergrowth of Literature, 1967
  • That Cold Day in the Park (screenplay), 1969
  • An Evasion of Women (short play, alongside pieces by Shena Mackay, Margaret Drabble, and Maureen Duffy), 1969[7]
  • The Alabaster Egg, 1970
  • I Want What I Want (screenplay), 1972
  • The Marriage Machine, 1975
  • The Schoolgirl Ethic: The Life and Work of Angela Brazil, 1976
  • Mayerling (ballet scenario), 1978[8]
  • Intimate Letters (ballet scenario), 1978[9]
  • Nazi Lady: The Diaries of Elisabeth von Stahlenberg, 1938–48, 1979
  • An Easter Egg Hunt, 1981
  • Isadora (ballet scenario), 1981[10]
  • Lovechild, 1984
  • Life Before Man, 1986
  • Ballet Genius: Twenty Great Dancers of the Twentieth Century (with Edward Thorpe), 1988
  • Termination Rock, 1989
  • His Mistress's Voice, 2000
  • But Nobody Lives in Bloomsbury, 2006


  1. ^ International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004, Routledge, page 187.
  2. ^ 'Marriages', The Times, 13 September 1955.
  3. ^ 'Marriages', The Times, 13 September 1955.
  4. ^ Review of The Leather Boys (Gillian Freeman) by Martin Foreman
  5. ^ Victor E. Neuburg, The Popular Press companion to popular literature, Popular Press, 1983, ISBN 0-87972-233-9, p.97
  6. ^ Anthony Blond, 'Glory Boys', The Sunday Times, 13 June 2004.
  7. ^ Irving Wardle, 'Experiment and Expansion', The Times, 1 March 1969
  8. ^ Gillian Freeman, 'The making of Mayerling', The Times, 8 February 1978
  9. ^ John Percival, 'Sadler's Wells: Intimate Letters', The Times, 11 October 1978
  10. ^ John Percival, 'Isadora, Covent Garden', The Times, 1 May 1981

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