• I have always liked reading biographies. It is the ideal literary genre for someone too prim, like me, to acknowledge a gossipy interest in the living - don't you hate gossips, aren't they too awful? - but avid for any nuggets from the private lives of the dead because that is perfectly respectable, an altogether worthy and informative way of spending one's time.

    Jill Tweedie (1980). “It's only me: pieces from a column”, Robson Books Limited