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Today, Tessa still looks remarkably like the untamed, bold, young beauty who partied all night and slept all day.

She beguiled every unsuitable chap she met and had affairs with Peter Sellers, Hywel Bennett and Dai Llewellyn.

I can see that a child would yearn for his approbation but be terrified of provoking his displeasure.

'In my youth,' she said, 'I was notorious, not famous.' She had wealth, entrancing children and, I thought, an enviably perfect life with the world at her feet.

Dustin Hoffman lived next door and she threw impossibly glamorous parties.

She was blessed with beauty, brains, charm and a wonderful writing talent but tragedy and guilt were endemic in her life.

Her father was the celebrated children's writer Roald Dahl, her mother is movie star Patricia Neal, and for a while the family lived in New York.

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