Author(s): Vita Sackville-West
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JULIET NICOLSON. Vita Sackville-West was an extraordinary woman from a long line of extraordinary women - this book tells their stories. Her grandmother Pepita, daughter of an old-clothes pedlar, made her fortune as a dancer and had a scandalous affair with an English diplomat. Their illegitimate daughter Victoria, Vita's mother, spent her childhood hidden in a convent but went on to be the glamorous mistress of Knole, one of the grandest old houses in England. Vita brings her legendary wit, passion and eccentricity to this colourful family portrait.
A colourful family history - scandal, perjury, forgery, passionate love affairs and class conflict - and a revealing self-portrait of the author herself, the extraordinary Vita Sackville-West
"The exciting story of [Vita's] Spanish grandmother" Guardian "What appears to be a straightforward joint biography of her grandmother and mother becomes the means whereby Vita explores and makes sense for herself of those warring elements in her own past and temperament" -- Alison Hennegan
Victoria Mary Sackville-West, known as Vita, was born in 1892 at Knole in Kent, the only child of aristocratic parents. In 1913 she married diplomat Harold Nicolson, with whom she had two sons and travelled extensively before settling at Kent's Sissinghurst Castle in 1930, where she devoted much of her time to creating its now world famous garden. Throughout her life Sackville-West had a number of other relationships with both men and women, and her unconventional marriage would later become the subject of a biography written by her son Nigel Nicolson. Though she produced a substantial body of work, amongst which are writings on travel and gardening, Sackville-West is best known for her novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931), and for the pastoral poem The Land (1926), which was awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Prize. Sackville-West died on 2 June 1962 at her Sissinghurst home, aged 70.