This is the winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography 2014. "Brilliant and passionate ...a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfilment". (Observer). Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book aged sixty. She went on to become one of the greatest of English novelists. Her remarkable life spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was awarded the Booker Prize in 1979 for her novel Offshore, and her last work, The Blue Flower, is widely acclaimed as a work of genius. This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest, and has become one of the most celebrated literary biographies of recent times.