DJ Taylor at The New Statesman:
Inez Holden’s diary – a mammoth undertaking, only fragments of which have ever escaped into print – carries a rueful little entry from August 1948. “I read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh,” the diarist writes. But the tale of Charles Ryder’s dealings with the tantalising progeny of the Marquess of Marchmain, here in an unfallen world of Oxford quadrangles and stately pleasure domes, awakens a feeling of “nostalgic depression”. This, Holden decides, is simply another of “those stories of High Life of the Twenties which everyone seemed to have enjoyed but I never did”.
By this point in her career, Holden (possibly born in 1903, but more of this later) was a 20-year veteran of the London literary scene – and also of some of the more spangled redoubts beyond it. She starts turning up in magazine columns in the late Twenties: not as a writer but as an ornament of the hot-house enclosure stalked by the small group of party-goers and well-heeled socialites known as the Bright Young People.