Only for a moment does Barbara Taylor Bradford, the working-class Yorkshire journalist who became one of history’s bestselling novelists, seem likely to take offence. It is when I suggest that some might think it foolhardy to embark on a four-volume novel sequence at the age of 85. What if she can’t finish the quartet?

“That won’t happen,” she says firmly. “Do you honestly think I sound like an 85-year-old woman? I say to people, ‘I’m an 85-year-old woman who lives the life of a 45-year-old woman.’ I’m full of energy. I take no pills. A lot of my friends say, ‘How do you do it?’ I say, ‘I don’t drink very much. A glass of champagne. I eat very carefully, and I take just…


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Andrew Billen

November 28 2018

The Times

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