Colin Spencer was born in Thornton Heath, South London, went to school in Brighton, and studied at Brighton Art College. He spent his period of National Service as a pacifist in the Royal Army Medical Corps in war-ravaged Hamburg where he treated soldiers who had contracted venereal disease.He has subsequently lived in London, Vienna, Athens, on the Greek island of Lesbos, and latterly in East Sussex. He has twice been married and has one son and two grandsons.
His published works include British Food, Homosexuality: A History, and novels including Panic, Asylum, and the novel sequence Generation.
A series of drawings of writers of our time was published in The Times Literary Supplement in 1959. Those he portrayed included John Betjeman, E M Forster, Angus Wilson, Evelyn Waugh and John Lehmann. An oil portrait of E M Forster hung for many years in his rooms at King's College Cambridge. On his death Forster left it to Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears and it is now in the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh. while The Spectator finds it “a remarkable autobiography which subverts everything you thought you knew about love and life.” 
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- Colin Spencer: Biography
- review by Sebastian Wayneflete, Fitzrovia News, Issue 129 Summer 2013
- review by Duncan Fallowell, The Spectator, 22 June 2013