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Born in March 1896, Nancy Cunard was a great beauty, rich, promiscuous, with a mesmeric effect on men. She was also highly intelligent, reading widely and writing poetry.

Of Nancy’s many affairs the five included in this book are the ones with the American poet Ezra Pound, the novelists Aldous Huxley and Michael Arlen (who characterised her as Iris Storm in his best-selling novel The Green Hat), Louis Aragon (the real founder of the Surrealist movement) and finally and controversially the black American pianist Henry Crowder, with whom she ran her printing press in Paris. The lifelong friendship was with George Moore, her mother’s lover, one of the most acclaimed novelists at the time of her childhood. His death in 1933 marks the end of this tempestuous tale of passion and intrigue.