A biography of a remarkable writer - a hero of the 1930s - a panoramic portrait of a troubled century. Seven years after Spender's death, John Sutherland offers the first authorized life of this brilliant, but famously enigmatic, man. As wellas knowing him personally Sutherland has had unhindered access to archive material and living witnesses to Spender's career. From the portrait of Spender's cosmopolitan family, to the breakaway years in 1930s Weimar Germany, where his comrades in exile were W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood; through the war, to the postwar years of international celebrity, this biography offers a full, and unvarnished image of Spender and of his extraordinary times.