Victoria Glendinning

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Victoria Glendinning CBE FRSL (née Seebohm; born 23 April 1937) is a British biographer, critic, broadcaster and novelist; she is an Honorary Vice-President of English PEN, a winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, was appointed a CBE in 1998 and is Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature.

Early life and education[edit]

She was born in Sheffield [1] to a Quaker family. Her father was the banker Frederic Seebohm (created a life peer as Baron Seebohm in April 1972), while her great-grandfather was the economic historian, also called Frederic Seebohm. Her sister is Caroline Seebohm, the American biographer. Glendinning grew up near York and after attending Millfield School in Somerset, went up to Somerville College, Oxford to study modern languages.

In 1995, Trinity College Dublin awarded her with an honorary doctorate.

Marriages and children[edit]

In the second year of her degree, she married one of her Spanish lecturers, Professor Nigel Glendinning in 1958.[2] They divorced in 1981. Her second husband Terence de Vere White died of Parkinson's disease in 1994 and in 1996 she married Kevin O'Sullivan (a previous husband of Shirley Conran).[3] She had four sons (before she was 28), including sportswriter Matthew Glendinning, with whom she coauthored the book Sons and Mothers, and the mathematician Paul Glendinning. Another son, Simon Glendinning, lectures in European Philosophy at the London School of Economics having previously taught at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Another son Hugo Glendinning is a photographer and artist.


  • Glendinning, Victoria (1969). A suppressed cry : life and death of a Quaker daughter. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • Elizabeth Bowen: Portrait of a Writer, 1977, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Edith Sitwell: A Unicorn Among Lions, 1981, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Vita: The Life of V. Sackville-West, 1983, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Rebecca West: A Life, 1987, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • The Grown-Ups, 1989, Hutchinson
  • Trollope, 1992, Hutchinson
  • Electricity, 1995, Hutchinson
  • Sons and Mothers, (co-editor with Matthew Glendinning) 1996, Virago, ISBN 1860492541
  • Jonathan Swift, 1998, Hutchinson
  • The Weekenders, (contributor), 2001, Ebury
  • Flight, 2002, Scribner
  • Leonard Woolf: a biography, 2006, Simon & Schuster
  • Cousin Rosamund by Rebecca West (Victoria Glendinning wrote the Afterword) [4]
  • Love's Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie: Letters and Diaries, 1941-1973, (co-editor with Judith Robertson) 2009, Simon & Schuster
  • Raffles and the Golden Opportunity, 2012, Profile Books Ltd.
  • The Butcher's Daughter, 2018, Duckworth Overlook

Critical studies and reviews[edit]


  1. ^ Niall Stanage, "Confessions of a storyteller" - interview with Victoria Glendinning, 'The Sunday Business Post, July 21, 2002 [1] Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ GLENDINNING, Hon. Victoria, (Hon. Mrs O'Sullivan), Who's Who, A & C Black, January 2007
  3. ^ Susan Johnson, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 2007. "The lady vanishes". Retrieved 22 May 2014
  4. ^ Detail from a copy of the book published by Macmillan (London)in 1985

External links[edit]