Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield (21 December 1892 – 15 March 1983), known as Rebecca West, was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, Rebecca was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was widely considered to be among the important public intellectuals of the 20th century.
Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of Yugoslavia; A Train of Powder (1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, The Meaning of Treason, later The New Meaning of Treason, a study of the trial of the British Fascist William Joyce and others; The Return of the Soldier, a modernist World War I novel; and the “Aubrey trilogy” of autobiographical novels, The Fountain Overflows, This Real Night, and Cousin Rosamund.
Time called her “indisputably the world’s number one woman writer” in 1947. She was made CBE in 1949, and DBE in 1959, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to British letters.