- Sunflower by Rebecca West
Virago, 276 pp, £9.95, June 1986, ISBN 0 86068 719 8
Rebecca West liked short men. Towards the end of her life a young journalist went to interview her. He arrived late, to hear West’s companion announce: ‘He’s worth waiting for!’ When West appeared her face fell. ‘Oh, you’re tall,’ she said damningly. ‘Small men are so energetic.’ Her posthumous novel Sunflower features fictional versions of two small men with big names: little H.G. Wells is one; little Lord Beaverbrook is the other.