All items: Jan Marsh

Jan Marsh speaks with James McConnachie about her renowned biographies, the attraction of art history and the advantages of being ‘on the fringes of scholarship’, and always doing something new.

Jan Marsh came to believe she had discovered the real-life inspiration for the character of Lily Briscoe, from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. But in the absence of documentary proof how could she persuade readers of her case? How, as a careful biographer, could she justify even trying to make it?

The RLF takes an inside look at how writers navigate the shoals of literary genre, and how they really see themselves — despite what those book blurbs might say.