So I Have Thought of You

Penelope Fitzgerald

Acclaimed for her exquisitely elegant novels – including the Booker Prize-winning ‘Offshore’ – and superb biographies, Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the finest British authors of the last century. Published here for the first time are her collected letters. An unparalleled record of the life of this greatly admired writer, these letters reveal her most important family relationships and friendships, and paint a clear picture both of herself and of her correspondents. They show us how she managed her own career – according to her own convictions – and how determined she was to put her world view across. A fascinating portrait of Penelope Fitzgerald as a mother, as a friend and as a writer, these letters give the same pleasure they gave to those who first opened them. Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most distinctive voices in British literature. The prize-winning author of nine novels, three biographies and one collection of short stories, she died in 2000.

Reviews of So I Have Thought of You

  • ‘Until a biography of this genius comes along, we have these letters, so ironic, idiosyncratic and beautiful.’ Carmen Callil, Guardian (Book of the Year)

    ‘Self-deprecating, wry, scatty, very English, it’s something of a cross between Barbara Pym and Stevie Smith. Certainly Fitzgerald, as these letters show, was a modest, reserved person…But her daffy manner was also a useful camouflage. It coexisted with the steely principle, luminous intelligence, professional energy, sharp judgements and stoic rigour that went into the books. The novelist’s comic brio is wonderfully on show.’ Hermione Lee, Sunday Times

    ‘Characteristically short, exquisitely constructed, and saying something extremely important, but something subtle and under-celebrated about the human condition as well…The letters are exciting for what they contribute towards the understanding of Fitzgerald’s imagination.’ Ruth Scurr, TLS

    ‘No letter is ever perfunctory or ill-phrased…each is written with the same rueful wit, rigorous artistry and undeviating moral sense as her books.’ Francis King, Literary Review

    ‘ “So I Have Thought of You” is among the most illuminating, moving collections of letters that I have ever read. The writing glows with love and wit, intellectual passion, and, above all, the miracle of a writer-in-waiting, endlessly developing and refining the ideas which would eventually shape her fiction. It pulsates, too, with the uncertainty of living, the immediacy of everyday impressions, and insight into the imaginative mind, its hopes and desperations, which are the raw materials of her great novels.’ Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times