Caroline Blackwood’s macabre and wickedly funny portrait of a monstrous, iron-willed dowager presiding over her long-suffering family.
Caroline Blackwood was a prolific journalist and her novels are widely praised for their wit and intelligence.
The eldest child of the 4th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava and the brewery heiress Maureen Guinness, Caroline Blackwood’s full title was Lady Caroline Maureen Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood. Her novel Great Granny Webster was shortlisted for the 1977 Booker Prize. She was known for her high-profile marriages, first to the artist Lucian Freud, then to the composer Israel Citkowitz and finally to the poet Robert Lowell, who described her as ‘a mermaid who dines upon the bones of her winded lovers’.