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Olivia Manning


Olivia Manning was born in 1908 (some sources say 1905, others 1911) in Portsmouth. Her father was a naval officer. After school she moved to London where she worked for Peter Jones as a furniture painter. She published her first novel in 1937 but there was then a ten-year gap before her next work. She was married to Reggie Smith, an eccentric, a communist and philanderer, who worked for the British Council and the BBC. The couple went to Romania at the end of the Thirties and then moved to Greece shortly before the German invasion. They moved on to Egypt and Palestine. These experiences were the basis for her best-known works – The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy, whose hero and heroine were clearly modelled on Manning and her husband. After the war they lived in London, very much involved in the literary society of the day. She died in 1980 in their house on the Isle of Wight.

Books about Olivia Manning

Neville & June Braybrooke: Olivia Manning

Other links

Olivia Manning
Olivia Manning
Feminize Your Canon: Olivia Manning
Olivia & Reggie & Jerry & Johnny


1929 Rose of Rubies (as Jacob Morrow)
1929 Here is Murder (as Jacob Morrow)
1929 The Black Scarab (as Jacob Morrow)
1937 The Wind Changes
1947 The Remarkable Expedition: The Story of Stanley’s Rescue of Emin Pasha from Equatorial Africa
1948 Growing Up (stories)
1949 Artist Among the Missing
1950 The Dreaming Shore
1951 School for Love
1953 A Different Face
1955 The Doves of Venus
1956 My Husband Cartwright
1960 The Great Fortune
1962 The Spoilt City
1965 Friends and Heroes
1967 A Romantic Hero (stories)
1967 Extraordinary Cats
1969 The Play Room (US: The Camperlea Girls)
1974 The Rain Forest
1977 The Danger Tree
1978 The Battle Lost and Won
1980 The Sum of Things