Dame Beryl Bainbridge was one of the best loved and most recognisable English novelists of her generation. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times and her critically acclaimed novels ‘The Dressmaker’ (1973), ‘The Bottle Factory Outing’ (1974), ‘An Awfully Big Adventure’ (1990), ‘Every Man For Himself’ (1996) and ‘Master Georgie’ (1998) confirmed her status as one of the major literary figures of the last fifty years. A unique voice in fiction, and unforgettable in person, Beryl Bainbridge was famous for her gregarious drinking habits and her unconventional lifestyle. Yet underneath the public image of a quirky eccentric lay a complex and sometimes traumatic private life that she rarely talked about and which was often only hinted at in her novels. In this biography, Brendan King draws on a mass of unpublished letters and diaries to reveal the real woman behind the popular image.