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Anthony Trollope presents a sympathetic view of one of England’s most prolific novelists. The emphasis is on family life, particularly on Trollope’s relationship to his forceful mother, his weak father, his bullying older brother (Mother’s favorite), and above all, to his wife Rose.
Glendinning shows us the disjunction between the outer man (a hearty, roast-beef type of Englishman) and the inner self, and how Trollope’s unhappy childhood fueled the need to create a fantasy life in fiction.
Above all, Trollope speaks for himself. Drawing from his 47 books, this tapestry shows us how he felt about everything from flirting and democracy to architecture and crinolines.
“What each of us would look for in an ideal future biographer is what each of us looks for in an ideal doctor: sympathy, trustfulness and acute powers of diagnosis. All these three qualities are here present. Vita would undoubtedly have shared our approval and gratitude” —Sunday Telegraph
Vita Sackville-West was a vital, gifted and complex woman. A dedicated writer, she made her mark as poet, novelist, biographer, travel writer, journalist and broadcaster. She was also one of the most influential English gardeners of the century, creating with her husband the famous gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent.
Vita documents her extraordinary life, focusing on her relationships with Violet Trefusis, Virginia Woolf, her husband, and her two sons together with her unpublicised love affairs. Vita was determined to be more than just a married woman; her passionate, secretive character, and the strains, mistakes and achievements of her remarkable life makes Vita a absorbing and disturbing book.
Not until her twenties was the real Edith Sitwell born. Freed from her unhappy home life she set up home in a shabby London flat: she became—almost overnight—one of the best-known 1920s pioneering poets. Her Plantagenet good looks attracted the photographer Cecil Beaton and the principal painters of the day. She befriended Aldous Huxley, T.S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein. She rebuffed Wyndham Lewis and ardently loved the temperamental Russian painter, Pavel Tchelitchew. The thirties she spent in penury, writing her novels, poems and biographies and it was only when Yeats hailed her as ‘a major poet’ that her work reached a wider audience and she set off to conquer New York and Hollywood.
In this vivid and sympathetic portrayal, drawing on Edith’s brilliantly funny and often outrageous letters, Victoria Glendinning shows the spontaneous, gallant, yet tragically insecure woman behind the public image.