Fiona MacCarthy (born
January 23, 1940) is a British biographer and cultural historian. She was raised in Chelsea; her family then owned the Dorchester Hotel. MacCarthy was a participant in the last debutanteseason in 1958, and her memoir "Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes" (2006) documents her early life and the end of "coming out" in the older meaning of the term. After being educated at Oxford University, where she read English, MacCarthy joined " The Guardian" in 1963, which was a life changing experience for her, changing attitudes inherited from her background. A first marriage ended in divorce when she left her husband for, and became pregnant by, silversmith David Mellor.
Her biographies of
Eric Gill, William Morrisand Lord Byronhave been well received, though controversial in certain quarters. She received the Wolfson History Prizeand the Writers' Guild Non-fiction Award in 1995 for the Morris biography. She has also been a contributor to the " Oxford Dictionary of National Biography".
Fiona MacCarthy continues to write for "The Guardian" newspaper regularly.
*"Fiona MacCarthy: The Last Debutante" by Matthew J Reisz, "The Independent", 6 October 2006
* "Eric Gill" (Faber and Faber, 1989) ISBN 0-571-13754-7
* "William Morris" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995) ISBN 0-394-58531-3
* "Byron: life and legend" (John Murray 2002) ISBN 0-7195-5621-X
* "Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes" (Faber 2006) ISBN 0-571-22859-3
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