18 April 2009

The Edwardians - Vita Sackville-West

The Edwardians first appeared in 1930, and was a deliberate attempt on Vita Sackville-West's part to write a best-seller. The amazing thing is that like so many of the other things she did in her rich and unusual life, she succeeded. It sold 20,000 copies in its first two months, outstripping the success of her friend, lover, and fellow author Virginia Woolf. It's a story of the aristocratic milieu from which she herself sprang, and is a rich blend of sentimental nostalgia for a world which had almost disappeared by the time she came to write it, and a critical analysis of some of the reasons why that disappearance occurred. The principal characters are from a single grand family: Lucy a widowed baroness, Sebastian her young Duke-to-be son, his sister Viola, and the glamorous Lady Roehampton who becomes his mistress. But the main character is the Elizabethan house where they live - served by its small army ... Read more >>

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