Download Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison PDF

By Matthew Dennison

Aristocrat, literary megastar, ‘Rose Queen’, dedicated spouse, lesbian, recluse, iconoclast – Vita Sackville-West was once many stuff, yet she was once by no means user-friendly. Her existence is re-told the following in a blinding new biography.

Vita Sackville-West may be top often called the author, along with her husband Harold Nicolson, of the gardens at Sissinghurst citadel, now the main visited gardens in Britain. In a occupation spanning greater than 40 years, she additionally made her mark as a prolific and complete author. She used to be an award-winning poet, a best-selling novelist, a biographer, a trip author and a journalist with an enormous and dedicated following. pictures of Vita – extraordinary, poised, aristocratic, and highbrow – stay iconic even now. but those public photographs don't inform all. in the back of the masks one other, extra advanced Vita lay.

Here, within the first biography to be written for thirty years, Matthew Dennison finds a renegade, courageous and charismatic lady: from a lonely adolescence of huge privilege in her cherished family members residence Knole (which she, as a girl, may well by no means inherit), to a celebrated and affectionate marriage which used to be however together ‘open’ and strewn with passionate gay affairs (in Vita's case, so much famously with Virginia Woolf and Violet Trefusis); from the hubbub of jewel-encrusted events at Buckingham Palace, to the solace Vita present in nature and gardening and the eventual seclusion of her tower at Sissinghurst.

Drawing on assets from data around the globe in addition to Vita's personal prolific written output, Dennison strains the foundation, triumphs and contradictions of Vita’s impressive existence. dedicated spouse, literary famous person, 'Rose Queen', reluctant courtier, recluse, lesbian, iconoclast – Dennison deftly weaves jointly the myriad strands of Vita’s existence to create a revealing and insightful portrait of the lady at the back of the masks.

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Extra resources for Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West

Sample text

This may have some element of truth, or it may equally be that Charlie was already able to con a member of the medical profession. ” He was into alcohol and various pills as early as 1932, he told Leonard Feather, who added that in 1935 “an actor friend” introduced Charlie to heroin. “I didn’t know what hit me – it was so sudden. ” The dates given may be a little early compared to the reality, and oral history is notoriously unreliable in this respect, but Charlie was consistent thereafter in stating that he was fteen when he rst tried heroin.

We went in, and Bird was up, was blowing, 22 you know. ” I said, “Well, what’s your name?... ” An earlier account for Ross Russell, however, had McShann on the bandstand at a jam session: I was in a rhythm-section one night when this cocky kid pushed his way on stage… He had a tone that cut. Knew his changes. He’d get off on a line of his own and I would think he was headed for trouble, but he was like a cat landing on all four feet. A lot of people couldn’t understand what he was trying to do, but it made sense harmonically and it always swung.

He expected, but at the same resented, her organizing his clothing and his meal-times, as his mother had done, and, once when he needed a taxi and Rebecca had no ready money, he pawned his mother’s electric iron. ) The frequently violent arguments between the young couple can hardly have been helped by having his mother on the premises, and it didn’t seem to bode well when Charlie received another setback. This time it was not a jam-session rejection, but an automobile accident that laid him low on Thanksgiving Day 1936.

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