by Penny Forster and Imogen Sutton
"Simone de Beauvoir was among the foremost French intellectuals of her time. Her remarkable autobiography, published in four volumes throughout her life, her fiction; and above all her classic feminist text The Second Sex, published in 1949, were all enormously influential in the development of modern feminist thinking. Her lifelong relationship with Jean Paul Sartre assumed and almost mythical quality for those who aspired to its independent free spirit. Yet her rigid Catholic upbringing, her ambivalent relationship with her mother and worship for her father, together with her devotion to Sartre and belief in his 'greater genius' may serve to highlight the paradoxes of this great writer who inspired so many and who succeeded in evoking a uniquely intimate relationship between her and her readers."