Six characters in flight from an author

Filed under: Biography

Michael Holroyd talking to Eleanor Bron about his biography 'A Strange and Eventful History'.

Michael Holroyd, perhaps the most influential of all modern biographers, decided some years ago to write no more full-scale biographies. He would turn instead to pen-portraits-in-miniature, beginning with Ellen Terry and then perhaps Henry Irving – and what about Ellen’s illegitimate son Edward Gordon Craig? Soon he was confronted by six elusive characters and a crowd of tragi-comic figures whose bizarre lives he found himself exploring. To mark the publication of A Strange Eventuful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Families, Michael Holroyd talks to Eleanor Bron, whose career in film, theatre and television has encompassed roles in productions as diverse as Help!, Hedda Babler and Dr Who and who has been credited as the inspiration of the Beatles song ‘Eleanor Rigby’.

Image credit Caroline Forbes

Recorded on Monday 13 October 2008.

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Sir Michael Holroyd 1968