Beautiful, intelligent and idealistic, but also, as she grew older, belligerent and intimidating, Sonia was the model for Julia, 'the girl from the Fiction Department', heroine of Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four. Angus Wilson, Marguerite Duras and Anthony Powell also based fictional characters on her. To the artists who first loved and painted her as a very young woman in the late 1930s - William Coldstream, Victor Pasmure, Claude Rogers, Rodrigo Moynihan - she was known as 'the Euston Road Venus'. Her friends and admirers included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Mary McCarthy, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Leiris and Cyril Connolly. She was Connolly's indispensable assistant on the influential literary magazine Horizon during the 1940s, and in the 1960s she co-edited the ground-breaking four-volume collection of Orwell's non-fiction writings.