The Press: Court Reporter

Rebecca West was an actress first, a novelist and critic later. She was born Cicily Isabel Fairfield, in County Kerry. She took the name Rebecca West from a part she played in Ibsen's Rosmersholm; her career came from the fact that she preferred her words to someone else's.

At first the words sounded impudent, as when she thumbed her nose, in pungent book reviews, at literary lights like G. B. Shaw and H. G. Wells. The cleverness and impudence matured into eloquence and insight, and in criticism and novels (The Judge, The Return...

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