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Sybille Bedford

Sybille Bedford (1911–2006) was born Sybille von Schoenebeck in Charlottenburg, Germany, to an aristocratic German father and a partly Jewish, Hamburg-born mother. Raised variously in Germany, Italy, France, and England, she lived with her mother and Italian stepfather after her father’s death when she was seven, and was educated privately. En­cour­aged by Aldous Huxley, Bedford began writing fiction at the age of sixteen and went on to publish four novels, all influenced by her itinerant childhood among the European aristocracy:  A Legacy (an NYRB Classic),  Jigsaw (short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize), and A Favourite of the Gods and Compass Error (forthcoming from NYRB in a single volume in 2017). She married Walter Bedford in 1935 and lived briefly in America during World War II, before returning to England. She was a prolific travel writer, the author of a two-volume biography of her friend Huxley, and a legal journalist, covering nearly one hundred trials. In 1981 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

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