Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West

By Matthew Dennison

A fantastic new biography of Vita Sackville-West, the twentieth century aristocrat, literary famous person, committed spouse, recognized lover of Virginia Woolf, recluse, and iconoclast who defied categorization.

In this gorgeous new biography of Vita Sackville-West, Matthew Dennison's Behind the Mask strains the triumph and contradictions of Vita's awesome lifestyles. His narrative charts a desirable direction from Vita's lonely early life at Knole, via her affectionate yet ‘open' marriage to Harold Nicolson (during which either husband and spouse energetically pursued gay affairs, Vita such a lot famously with Virginia Woolf), and during Vita's literary successes and disappointments, to the well-known gardens the couple created at Sissinghurst. The e-book tells how, from her privileged international of the aristocracy, Sackville-West introduced her penchant for dress, play-acting and uprising to the creative forefront of recent Britain. Dennison is the acclaimed writer of many books together with a biography of Queen Victoria.
Here, within the first biography to be written of Vita for thirty years, he unearths the total tale and will get at the back of ‘the appealing masks' of Vita's public achievements to bare a regularly afflicted personality which heroically resisted compromise on each point. Drawing on wideranging assets and the vast letters that sustained her marriage, this can be a compelling tale of affection, loss and jealousy, of high-life and coffee issues, of binding affection and illicit ardour – a portrait of a rare, 20th-century life.

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In past due September 1917, she made a week-long stopover at to lengthy Barn sooner than Harold and Vita’s go back to London for the fall; she visited back the subsequent April. Her contempt for Vita’s married lifestyles grew with the measure of her publicity. She lampooned the narrowness in their pursuits, the predictability in their dialog: ‘At dinner, you could have the everlasting furniture-decoration dialog, interlarded with scraps of Roman memories, and conjugal badinage,’ she snapped in a letter to Vita.

To Harold she wrote: ‘I don't want humans to assert i've got whatever to do together with her marriage having long past improper, which most likely they might be purely too happy to claim … i don't are looking to be dragged into this, both in your sake or my very own. we've got had relatively adequate of that kind of factor, haven’t we? ’21 however it used to be Vita whom Dottie again and again summoned to her relief, threatening tears within the face of Vita’s reluctance, Vita whom she selected to aid her in her wretchedness. Vita replied to Dottie’s summons, even though she could locate progressively more attracts on her time because the yr advanced.

Sackville-West, Passenger to Teheran, p. a hundred and fifteen. 107. V. Sackville-West, ‘Persia’, accumulated Poems, p. 173. 108. V. Sackville-West, ‘At Rhey [Rhages]’, accumulated Poems, p. 177. 109. V. Sackville-West, Passenger to Teheran, p. sixty one. one hundred ten. DeSalvo and Leaska, eds, Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, p. one hundred twenty. 111. Ibid. , p. 197. 112. Ibid. , p. 127. 113. V. Sackville-West, Passenger to Teheran, p. 129. 114. DeSalvo and Leaska, eds, Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, p. 133. one hundred fifteen. V. Sackville-West, ‘Madame Dieulafoy’, style, June 1926, p.

In its first draft, The Land integrated a citation from Hesiod’s Works and Days: ‘Work isn't any shame; the shame is in no longer operating. ’140 It used to be as Violet had foreseen. whereas she herself remained below a cloud, dwelling in exile in Paris with Denys, Vita addressed the enterprise of turning herself right into a profitable author. paintings used to be a manner out of her ‘scarlet adventure’; it used to be additionally her atonement. With its portrait of liable permanencies, The Land used to be a ways from a love affair so scandalous that Mrs Keppel apprehensive it is going to jeopardise the engagement of Violet’s more youthful sister Sonia to Roland Cubitt, son of the immensely wealthy Lord Ashcombe.

Sackville-West, p. 117. 117. Trefusis, Don’t glance around, p. forty three. 118. Trefusis, Broderie Anglaise, p. 26. 119. Ibid. , p. 27 one hundred twenty. Nicolson, Portrait of a wedding, p. 27. 121. Souhami, Mrs Keppel and her Daughter, p. thirteen. 122. V. Sackville-West, Pepita, p. 181. 123. V. Sackville-West, problem (William Collins, London, 1974), p. 129. 124. Trefusis, Broderie Anglaise, pp. sixteen, ninety nine. one hundred twenty five. Souhami, Mrs Keppel and her Daughter, p. seventy four. 126. Nicolson, Portrait of a wedding, p. 26. 127. Ibid. , p. 25. 128. V. Sackville-West, The Edwardians, p.

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