Sally Beauman (Estate)

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Working with: Eli Keren


Sally Beauman was born in Devon and graduated from Girton College, Cambridge. She began her career as a critic and writer for New York magazine and continued to write for leading periodicals in America and the UK after returning to England.  In 1970 she was the first recipient of the Catherine Pakenham Award for her journalism, and at the age of 24 edited Queen magazine.  She has written for the New Yorker, The Sunday Times and theTelegraph Magazine, where she was Arts Editor.  Her novels have been translated into over twenty languages and are bestsellers worldwide. 

In addition to her novels, Sally has also published two non-fiction books  based on the history and work of the RSC: The Royal Shakespeare Company's Centenary Production of Henry V. (Edited and with foreword by Sally Beauman, Pergamon Press, 1976) and The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades (OUP, 1982).  In the USA, The Landcape of Love was published as The Sisters Mortland. 

Sally Beauman was married to the actor Alan Howard. They divided their time between London and their house on a remote island in the Hebrides. They have one son and two grandchildren. Sally passed away on 7th July 2016.

Current publication:

THE VISITORS - Little, Brown, February 2014

Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't?

Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed.

Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.

Praise for THE VISITORS:

"A beautifully written novel, a tale of intertwined lives that is at once powerful and haunting. Beauman maintains the tension surrounding the tomb’s discovery, even for those who know the outcome, and though the finale rather flags, the story of Lucy’s blossoming into adulthood is lingeringly affecting." Sunday Times

“scrupulously researched... This book contains all the traditional elements of a women's blockbuster: a Cinderella-style, love-deprived heroine; a beautiful, promiscuous woman with neglected but adoring children; an exotic setting as well as plenty of travel, and a certain amount of mystery. But Sally Beauman is far too skilful to follow a formula and her version of what went on in the Valley of the Kings between the wars sticks closely to the recorded facts —which are, of course, quite as exciting as any a novelist could invent... Interesting, unusual and informative, it is greatly enjoyable.” Jessica Mann, Literary Review

"A rollicking read... There is much to delight in this book. So beguilingly does Beauman weave fact and fiction that after 525 pages the reader still wants more pages to turn. Characters are well drawn. There is a believable sense of place, time, politics, social context, even period clothing. We feel the beauty of the desert, its blinding light, its insufferable heat while protagonists wear 3-piece tweed suits... sublime... Beauman manages to make both the lives of her fictional characters and those at the historical center of Tut’s unearthing riveting." New York Journal of Books

"an engrossing epic that wears its research lightly… The powerful backdrop of the curse of Tutenkhamun adds a dark dimension of historical intrigue to a page-turning tale." Tina Jackson, Metro

"It'sDeath on the Nile meets Downton Abbey... Beauman breathes brilliant life into these colourful characters... A gripping story touching on friendship, scholarship, love and family." Daily Mail

"hugely readable... writing at its entertaining best... vivid and illuminating." Guardian

"An old-fashioned novel in the best sense...  A book of astounding scholarship on Egyptology and the 1920s... its writing and characterizations are golden." Booklist starred review

"Sally Beauman's fact-inspired story plunges readers into the thrilling search for King Tut's tomb in 1922 Egypt, as told from the perspective of an observant 11-year-old English girl... atmospheric." Parade Magazine

"read every line of this stupendous novel" Country Style Australia

"Those interested in the society and discoveries of the time will find much to treasure." Australian Women's Weekly NZ

"This meander around artist/archaeologist Howard Carter’s diggings from 1922 will delight... Beauman beautifully describes the languorous lifestyles of Brits and Americans wealthy enough to indulge their passion for unearthing Egypt’s ancient treasures." Courier Mail Australia

Praise for Sally Beauman:

‘Beauman is a skilful writer who manages a complicated plot with a magician’s mastery, flicking between viewpoints and periods, always smooth and deceptive, surprising the reader all the way’ Sunday Telegraph

'Unashamedly romantic and readable, Sally Beauman’s novels have provoked increasing critical acclaim . . . Beauman is a captivating and artful storyteller - capable of making us believe the unbelievable’ Guardian

'Deeply intriguing...the reader is right there in Suffolk, totally absorbed and longing to discover more, seduced by this most dynamic and alluring storyteller' Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday

'The shift between narrators is accomplished and unpredictable ... Beauman's plotting compels you to keep reading' Louise France, Observer 

'Beauman's storytelling is confidently non-linear ... fluid and often beautiful ... a sparky mixture of wit and wicked comedy' Glasgow Herald



Publication DetailsNotes

Little, Brown

If I didn't spy, I'd be in the dark eternally. I live in a maze of unknowing -- Maisie's maze -- and I hate it. I need to be informed . . .' The summer of 1967, at a decaying house in the heart of Suffolk: an artist is painting a portrait of thirteen-year-old Maisie and her elder sisters, beautiful Julia and bookish Finn. Maisie embarks on a portrait of her own: she begins an account of her family and of her village friend Daniel Nunn, a young man she idolises, whom she watches over the chasm of a class divide. But is Maisie's description of a summer idyll all it seems? This is the summer when the three sisters' lives will irrevocably, and terribly, change. The winter of 1991, in London: the now-famous portrait of the three sisters features in a major retrospective. Daniel Nunn, haunted by the vanished England of his childhood, obsessed by the three sisters and newly determined to understand what happened that last summer, pursues the ghosts of his past.


Little, Brown

Beauman dares to tell the story of the enigmatic first mistress of Manderley, and not only proves herself a brave woman, but a storyteller of exceptional style and skill. Written as a "companion" rather than a sequel.



Moving from Halloween through Thanksgiving to Christmas, from the cloisters of Oxford to the unpredictable looking-glass world of a Hollywood film, this is a novel about obsessions and the heartbreak they can cause.



Journalist Gini Hunter, exists on the edge of a breakdown, knowing her lover, Pascal Lamartine, remains in war-torn Bosnia. When a schoolgirl disappears Gini is forced to follow the story. She faces new dangers, for she must deal with two men - one a potential lover.



One frosty January morning, an exquisitely dressed, beautiful blonde woman sends four identical parcels to four different destinations: Paris, New York, Venice and London. But this is no innocent transaction and the woman is not the person she claims to be.



Halley's Comet night at Winterscombe in 1910 ends with a violent death which throws a giant shadow over three generations of the Cavendish dynasty. At the centre of events is the beautiful and dangerous Constance, who casts a spell - which may be a curse - on all the sons of the family.



One evening in Paris, Edouard de Chavigny becomes a man obsessed. A wealthy, notorious womanizer, he is captivated by a mysterious young Englishwoman, Helene Craig, and knows that she is the woman he has been searching for all his life. But Helene is not what she seems.