Maggie Smith : A Biography

Maggie Smith : A Biography
Author: Michael Coveney
Rating: 2.97
Bestsellers Rate: 25266
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Book Format: Paperback
Binding: None
Pages: 368
Hours of reading: 6.1 hours
Publication Date: 2021
Languages: | English |
Price: 9,85 €

About the book

'Coveney is the only writer who could get under Smith's skin, capturing her steeliness and vulnerability' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path has led to international renown and numerous accolades including two Academy Awards. Recently she has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in DOWNTON ABBEY, as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the HARRY POTTER movie franchise and as the eccentric Miss Shepherd in the film version of THE LADY IN THE VAN by Alan Bennett. Paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, Michael Coveney's biography is a captivating portrait of the real Maggie Smith.


From early days in the theatre to Miss Jean Brodie and Downton's formidable Dowager, Maggie Smith has endeared herself to millions. This engaging and fascinating biography reveals the life and career of one of our finest actresses WOMAN & HOME 20150901


From early days in the theatre to Miss Jean Brodie and Downton's formidable Dowager, Maggie Smith has endeared herself to millions. This engaging and fascinating biography reveals the life and career of one of our finest actresses * WOMAN & HOME * Dame Maggie Smith - now 81 - is a national treasure, her unforgettable asperity a delight in every role ... [Coveney's] knowledgeable, elegant biography examines the qualities of the woman in the spotlight ... But he also gently probes Smith's closely guarded privacy, with revealing anecdotes from friends, fellow thespians and Smith's sons, the actors Chris Larkin and Toby Stephens -- Jane Shilling * DAILY MAIL * A satisfying read ... [P]leasantly gossipy and a very valuable addition to the history of British theatre -- Mary McEvoy * IRISH INDEPENDENT * [A] solid and admiring portrait of a beloved actor's craft and career -- Patricia Nicol * INDEPENDENT * Michael Coveney's affectionate [biography] provides the best account we are likely to get of this reserved grand dame, who surely stands alone in having her 'witty' elbows and wrists so often singled out for praise * EVENING STANDARD, Books of the Year * The conundrum of what Smith does haunts Coveney's Maggie Smith: A Biography, on a brilliant journey from Shakespeare's Viola to J.K. Rowling's Professor McGonagall. Coveney's admiration is never in doubt, being of a rare critical type that cares for the actor's craft with infectious enthusiasm -- Michael Joseph Chance * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Coveney has written a magnificent book that beautifully illuminates the talent and the irreducible personality of a great artist -- Peter Craven * THE AUSTRALIAN * Inspiring stuff - BOOK OF THE WEEK * NEW magazine * BOOK OF THE WEEK * DAILY MAIL * [A] revealing biography of the sublime life and loves of Maggie Smith -- Gerald Isaaman * CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL * Wonderful insight into the life of a wonderful actress - READERS' CHOICE FOR BEST MEMOIR OF THE YEAR * WOMAN & HOME * Michael Coveney isn't afraid to elucidate on her reputation for being difficult, but there's much more here, from a revelatory Hedda Gabler to The Lady In The Van. Coveney is the only writer who could get under Smith's skin, capturing her steeliness and vulnerability. -- Christopher Fowler * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, Cinema Books of the Year * Steeped in theatre history, and with full cooperation from Smith; her husband, actor Beverley Cross; family and colleagues, including her close friend Judi Dench, Coveney seamlessly melds Smith's personal and professional lives into an engrossing narrative ... An authoritative and perceptive portrait. * KIRKUS REVIEWS * Coveney enticingly lists and quotes from her most remarkable roles, and forbears to intrude on Smith's determinedly private life. Hers is a fascinating story, a true swan hatched from the unlikely nest of a dour Methodist accountant mother and a lab technician father who moved to Oxford during the war. -- Christina Hardyment * THE TIMES *

Michael Coveney Biography

Michael Coveney (born 24 July 1948) is a British theatre critic.

Education and career

Coveney was born in London and educated at St Ignatius’ College, Stamford Hill, and Worcester College, Oxford. After graduation, he worked as a script reader for the Royal Court Theatre and from 1972 he contributed theatre reviews to the Financial Times. He was deputy editor (1973–75) and editor (1975–78) of Plays and Players magazine and theatre critic and deputy arts editor of the Financial Times throughout the 1980s.He was theatre critic for The Observer from 1990 until he joined the Daily Mail in 1997, following the death of Jack Tinker. He remained at the Daily Mail until 2004. He was Chief Critic of the leading theatre website until retiring from the role in 2016. He is the author of The Citz, a history of the Citizens Theatre (Nick Hern Books, 1990) and Maggie Smith: A Bright Particular Star (Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1993). His book The Aisle Is Full of Noises (Nick Hern Books, 1994), a diary of a year in the theatre, was withdrawn following complaints of potential libel from Milton Shulman; although, as reported in The Times of 21 September 1994, Coveney "thought the comments were in the spirit of the book. I rather regret that Milton, of whom I am actually rather fond, didn't take them in that spirit." Most copies of the book had been sold before its withdrawal. In 2011, he published a biography of Ken Campbell, The Great Caper.He has also published a biography of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and a revised edition of his biography of Maggie Smith was published in 2015.


Selected publications

Coveney, Michael, The World According to Mike Leigh, (Paperback Edition, London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997, Originally Published: London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996), Includes a "Preface to the Paperback Edition," Pp. xvii–xxiv. ... Read full biography

Authors: Michael Coveney
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Languages: | English |
Original Language:
ISBN13: 9781474600941
ISBN10: 1474600948
Reference Edition:
Edition: None
Edition Statement: None
Illustrations: None
Literature Country: None
Literature Period: None
Book Format: Paperback
Book Binding: None
Paper: None
Font: None
Pages: 368
Book Weight: 300
Book Dimensions: 128x196x26
Circulation: None
Publication date: Sept. 8, 2016
First Publication Date: None
Publication City/Country: London, United Kingdom

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