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Hilary Spurling, CBE (born 1940) is a British writer, known as a journalist and biographer. She won the Whitbread Prize for her two-volume biography of Matisse in January 2006. She is married to playwright John Spurling, and has three children (Amy, Nathaniel and Gilbert) and one grandchild.She is currently working on a biography of Pearl S. Buck.


  • Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919 (1974)
  • Mervyn Peake: Drawings (1974) editor
  • A Handbook to Anthony Powell's Music of Time (1977) as Invitation to the Dance
  • Secrets of a Woman's Heart: The Later Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1920-1969 (1984)
  • Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book: Elizabethan Country House Cooking (1986)
  • Paul Scott: A Life (1990)
  • Paper Spirits. Collage Portraits by Vladimir Sulyagin (1992) introduction
  • The Unknown Matisse: Volume 1 - A Life of Henri Matisse 1869-1908 (1998)
  • La Grande Thérèse: The Greatest Swindle of the Century (1999) on Thérèse Humbert
  • The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell (2002)
  • Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954 (2005)
  • Ann Stokes: Artists' Potter (contributor) (2009)
  • Matisse: The Life (abridged version of two earlier works) (2009)


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