> Skip to content
  • Published: 29 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704476
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $24.99

Darling Pol

Letters of Mary Wesley and Eric Siepmann 1944-1967



A remarkable collection of letters reveals the great love story of author of The Chamomile Lawn Mary Wesley's life.

Before her death in 2002, Mary Wesley told her biographer Patrick Marnham: 'after I met Eric I never looked at anyone else again. We lived our ups and downs but life was never boring'. Eric Siepmann was her second husband and their correspondence charted their life together (and apart) with unusual candour and spirit.

These remarkable letters, which were inspired by Mary's great love story with Eric, were also the means by which the novelist found her voice. Entrusted to Marnham in two size -5 shoe boxes, this is one of the great surviving post-war correspondences.

  • Published: 29 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704476
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Mary Wesley

Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. Her education took her to the London School of Economics and during the War she worked in the War Office. She also worked part-time in the antiques trade. Mary Wesley lived in London, France, Italy, Germany and several places in the West Country. She used to comment that her 'chief claim to fame is arrested development, getting my first novel published at the age of seventy'. That first novel, Jumping the Queue, was followed by a subsequent nine bestsellers: The Camomile Lawn, Second Fiddle, Harnessing Peacocks, The Vacillations of Poppy Carew, Not That Sort of Girl, A Sensible Life, A Dubious Legacy, An Imaginative Experience and Part of the Furniture. Mary Wesley was awarded the CBE in the 1995 New Year's honour list and died in 2002.

Also by Mary Wesley

See all

Praise for Darling Pol

Passionate, erotic, honest, funny and also supremely sad... superbly edited by Wesley's biographer Patrick Marnham

Nicholas Shakespeare, Spectator

a lovely, entertaining and moving book

Sara Wheeler, Literary Review

It seems extraordinary that Mary Wesley had to wait until she was in her seventies to become an acclaimed author. These letters, written to her lover Eric Siepmann, and edited by her biographer Patrick Marnham, show that she was already a brilliant writer in her thirties

Lynn Barber, Sunday Times

Highly readable

Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Daily Mail

Her letters are cheerful, resilient and funny, full of sharply observed vignettes of her life in Devon.

Jane Shilling, The Oldie

A fascinating insight into the world of Mary Wesley and the scenarios that inspired her famous novels

The Lady, a Book of the Week

Related titles