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British-born heiress to the famous steamship fortune, Nancy Cunard (1896–1965) lived an extraordinary life. A famous beauty who became a flamboyant journalist and humanitarian, and an aspiring poet herself, she had such bold-faced lovers as Ezra Pound, who immortalized Cunard in the Cantos, and T.S. Eliot, who characterized her as an immoral siren with literary aspirations in The Waste Land. Edward, prince of Wales, wooed her to no avail; a fashion icon in Roaring '20s Paris, Cunard was photographed by Man Ray and played onscreen by Garbo; and she figured in the works of Waugh and Neruda. Cunard's long poem Parallaxwas published by the Woolfs' prestigious Hogarth Press, and her own Hours Press published Beckett, Robert Graves and Laura Riding. A scandalous romance with a black American musician severed her from family and inflamed her social conscience; she crusaded for blacks in her mammoth anthology Negro and against Franco's fascism as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian. Although not written to appeal to a broad audience, this able, diligently researched biography by Fairleigh Dickinson English professor Gordon (coauthor of American Chronicle: Year by Year Through the 20th Century) revives the memory of a remarkable woman against the backdrop of major 20th-century events. Illus. (Apr.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.