Here is the first major biography of one of the most provocative, prolific, and influential figures in British-American literary history. In her poetry, fiction, essays, and public statements, Laura Riding, the author of twenty-three books, tackled feminism, communism, sexuality, Freud, language and belief, and the coming-of-age of the American dream. In her personal relationships she was often at the center of a circle of friends and artists whose activities she inspired and sometimes controlled. Her extraordinary range of associates included writers as diverse as Hart Crane, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, Malcolm Cowley, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren. During a long and "scandalous" affair with Robert Graves, she watched over his most productive period and guided much of his best work. Together they launched the New Criticism.