Tuesday, January 24, 2006


HILARY SPURLING’s monumental biography of Matisse, Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954 (2005), takes home the 2005 Whitbread Book of the Year Award in addition to the 2005 Whitbread Award for Biography. Her second volume of her life of the painter is scholarly yet accessible. A worthy winner indeed. The last time the award went to a biography was in 2002, when Claire Tomalin’s Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (2002) won. Spurling is the biographer of Ivy Compton-Burnett and Sonia Orwell.

SPURLING Hilary [1940-] Biographer. Born in Stockport, England. NONFICTION Elinor Fettiplace's Recipe Book: Elizabethan Country House Cooking (1986) BIOGRAPHY Matisse the Master: Volume 2: A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954 (2005: winner of the 2005 Whitbread Award for Biography and the 2005 Whitbread Book of the Year Award; shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction); The Girl from the Fiction Department (2002); La Grande Thérèse (1999); Paper Spirits (1992); The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse 1869-1908 (1998); Paul Scott: A Life (1990); Secrets of a Woman's Heart: The Later Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1920-1969 (1984: 1985 Heinemann Award and 1984 Duff Cooper Prize); Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919 (1974: 1976 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature) CRITICISM A Handbook to Anthony Powell's Music of Time Heinemann (1977) EDITED Mervyn Peake: Drawings


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