Excellent…. Sullivan is herself an outstanding writer, tempering her evident admiration for Smart’s achievements with the wry reflections of those who knew her subject intimately…. Sullivan’s biography settles for no half-measures, and gives the tribute to Elizabeth Smart which her life among the rogues and rascals thoroughly deserves.

Times Higher Education Supplement

Informed with enthusiasm… tells its story remarkably vividly.

Elspeth BarkerIndependent on Sunday

Wonderful… as vibrant and gutsy as its subject.

Good Housekeeping
By Heart

Penguin Books, Canada, 1991; Lime Tree Press, England, 1991. Paperback 1992. Translated into Spanish by Laura Freixas, Circe Publishers, Barcelona, 1996. Le coeur jamais éteint: Une vie d’Elizabeth Smart. Translated by Marie Frankland Québec, Leméac, 2016.

Elizabeth Smart, author of one of the century’s most brilliant works of poetic prose, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, lived a life of extremes. Rebelling against her affluent Canadian upbringing and exiling herself to London, she embarked on a passionate romance with George Barker—smitten by his poems long before she met him in person—in what was to become one of the most intense and extraordinary love affairs of this century. By Heart is, by turns, a compelling account of a remarkable woman’s single-handed struggle to support her four children, a literary love story, a portrait of mid-century bohemian artistic circles and, above all, the life of a gifted writer fighting for self-expression. By Heart was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction.

Critical Praise for By Heart

“Excellent…. Sullivan is herself an outstanding writer, tempering her evident admiration for Smart’s achievements with the wry reflections of those who knew her subject intimately…. Sullivan’s biography settles for no half-measures, and gives the tribute to Elizabeth Smart which her life among the rogues and rascals thoroughly deserves.”
TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

“informed with enthusiasm… tells its story remarkably vividly.”
ELSPETH BARKER, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“Wonderful… as vibrant and gutsy as its subject.”
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

“Writing her own sub-version of the Grand Central style, Rosemary Sullivan has produced a harmonious and illuminating account of a culture and habitat rich in significant incongruity.”
LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

“It is clear from the first page of this immensely readable book that the association of Rosemary Sullivan and Elizabeth Smart is one of the truly successful biographical pairings…. By Heart makes an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of women’s lives and rings yet another variation on the theme of how talents can be lost and voices suppressed.”
GLOBE AND MAIL

By Heart is a sensitive tribute to an important writer and an exceptional woman.”
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

“A massive and poignantly rendered journey through one of the most fascinating lives in Canadian letters.”
NOW (TORONTO)

By Heart has the momentum of a well-paced novel, but also the discursive intelligence to pick out the patterns in a life that Smart herself frequently found baffling.”
MACLEAN’S

“Sullivan demonstrates amazing empathy with her subject, and her biography itself becomes a work of art.”
THE TORONTO SUN

“Carefully and wonderfully, Rosemary Sullivan recreates a life, a myth, a world now past. Here are passion and sensitivities so strong and willful they outrun the grave.”
FAY WELDON

“When I finished Rosemary Sullivan’s enthralling life of Elizabeth Smart, my first response was to wonder how I could have lived so long without knowing anything about her except that she had written one of the most remarkable novels of our time. A second later I changed my mind and realized how fortunate I was to meet this amazing woman on the pages of one of the best contemporary biographies I have recently read. Ms. Sullivan writes so gracefully and with such objectivity and restraint that all the contradictions of Smart’s astonishing life leap off the pages with an impact that resonates in one’s mind long after the last page of her book is read … [She] has captured Smart’s vitality and complexity in what is sure to become a biography of international significance.”
DEIRDRE BAIR, author of Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and C. G. Jung