when intellectual Paris - Leiris, Bataille, Lacan, Merleau Ponty and others - was bowled over by her in turn.
What was this effect?
Apart from her looks and vitality, she was the most stimulating friend and patron.
She raised people's spirits with parties and celebrations as well as with personal kindness and actual money, but the real help she gave was her passionate and discriminating enthusiasm for art and literature and it's makers.
She believed in the value of art and the humanity expressed in it as Elizabeth in England, and she made those she picked out feel like her Drakes and Raleighs.
Among the writers she especially encouraged were Angus Wilson, Nigel Dennis and Jean Rhys.
She was a close friend of Francis Bacon, Virgil Thompson, W. H. Auden, Ivy Compton-Burnett and Marguerite Duras, some of whose work she translated.
She was born on August 25, 1918, at Ranchi in India, where her father, Charles Neville Brownlee, who died when she was a few months old, was a freight-broker.
She married George Orwell in 1949, just before he died, and secondly, in 1958, Michael Pitt-Rivers - a marriage which lasted only four years.
Her favourite character in literature was Odvsseus and it was his qualities of adventurousness, self-reliance, high-spirits, intelligence, courage and style which she most admired in others and for which she stood right to the end, even though the pain and humiliation of her last illness.