I first heard of Martin Boyd at a dinner party in the Cotswolds in the early 1980s. At the time I was adapting a novel by Rosamond Lehmann for the BBC, an enterprise with unexpected hazards, as Rosamond was very much alive and keen to be involved in the process. I had just begun my account of driving to the studio with Rosamond – a formidable and still beautiful woman, who relied on God to solve her parking problems – when the guest of honour, sitting opposite me, interrupted.
‘Forget Rosamond Lehmann,’ he said. ‘Martin Boyd is the bloke you should be adapting. Fabulous stories. Great characters. If you don’t snap him up, someone else will. His novels are crying out to be made into films.’