05 March 2007

Harold Nicolson's Some People

Harold Nicolson was a career diplomat, best known for the fact that he was married to Vita Sackville-West, who had a love affair with Virginia Woolf (and other women) and that despite his own homosexuality they kept going a marriage whose apparent success was recorded in their son's account, Portrait of a Marriage. Nicolson blew this way and that in both literary and sexual terms, but in 1927 he produced a series of portraits which are partly documentary and partly fictional. They are based on his experiences of public school and the diplomatic service. The idea he explained to a friend 'was to put real people into imaginary situations, and imaginary people into real situations'. You can view this as a new literary form, alongside such works as Virginia Woolf's Orlando or just a personal whim, but the result is surprisingly polished and amusing ... Read more >>


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