The Secret Life of a Schoolgirl by Rosemary Kingsland
A Memoir

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The Secret Life of a Schoolgirl is an extraordinary memoir—a jewel. Rosemary Kingsland was born in India during the dying days of the British Raj. While there, she and her family lived a life of privilege. But with the fall of the Raj, they were forced to return to England, where their fortunes took a decided turn for the worse. In London, then in Cornwall, then back in London, the simmering tension between Rosemary’s parents erupted into outright warfare fueled by alcohol and her father’s persistent, unrepentant womanizing. It was a lonely, dangerous childhood.

But one day Rosemary’s life changed forever. At a café where she had gone to escape from a party her father had insisted she attend with him, she met Richard Burton, the dashingly handsome Welsh actor who was then the toast of the London stage. She had seen him in Under Milkwood some months before. She was an adolescent schoolgirl. He was twenty-nine.

The Secret Life of a Schoolgirl is a deeply felt evocation of first love, and of family bonds forged in intense isolation. It is made all the more remarkable by the luminous quality and riveting narrative voice of Rosemary Kingsland.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Rosemary Kingsland

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Rosemary Kingsland is a novelist and journalist. Her journalism has been featured in the Sunday Times and Evening Standard in London. Her novels, After the Ball and Cassatta, were published by Viking/Penguin. She lives in London. Visit her at www.rosemarykingsland.comFrom the Hardcover edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Crown. 356 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Life of a Schoolgirl

Publishers Weekly

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Kingsland's delightfully lusty memoir of her girlhood in Cornwall and London is writ around a secret she has kept for more than 40 years and had noted only in her diaries: in 1955, at 14, she lost her virginity to her first crush, legendary English actor Richard Burton, whom she had met by ha...

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Entertainment Weekly

Kingsland's memoir has the whiff of the lurid about it: As a girl of 14, she had a head-turning affair with a 29-year-old Richard Burton, played out in hideaways and one cozy London flat.

Jul 25 2003 | Read Full Review of The Secret Life of a Schoolgi...

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