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All passion spent Hardcover – 1936


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Hardcover, 1936
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 6 pages
  • Publisher: The Sun dial press (1936)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00086MNHE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
HENRY LYULP HOLLAND, first Earl of Slane, had existed for so long that the public had begun to regard him as immortal. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an elegy for a wasted life. Sackville paints an intimate portrait of an old lady who in the eyes of society has had it all, wealth, a title, children a distinguished husband; and shows the real woman on the inside. The real woman mourns her younger self, a vital woman who wanted to spend her life painting and make painting her life. Now, with her husband dead she isolates herself and takes stock of what the purpose of her life has been. It is sweet and melancholy, yet saved from being sentimental by real touches of humour and satire and a couple of key points of redemption within the structure of the novel.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
How effortlessly Ms. Sackville-West spins her surprisingly moving story of an aging aristocrat who, near the end of her life, decides to do those things she could never do before as she sublimated herself to her strong, successful and controlling husband. This classic British diplomat, who expected to be obeyed because such were the times, was, after all, so much more important than she was and what an interesting life she had in his shadow, didn't she - so conscientious and such a good wife and mother. What she does when he dies, how she perceives her existence and her place in her family - and how they respond - will catch you up in its wake and carry you to the ending, which is perfect and thus bittersweet. I found this a memorable novella.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By minty on 16 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Full of wisdom, mystery and simply delightful writing. Each time I have re-read it I have gleaned something new and remarkable in its insight and lyrical writing.

(I would however correct Amazon - the book is by Vita Sackville-West. Joanna Lumley did not co-author this and it is wrong to credit her thus; she simply wrote an introduction.)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "estherelizkatz" on 1 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
An interesting book, whose flashbacks reveal the true but suppressed personality of the main protagonist, Lady Slane, a woman whose charater was never truly appreciated neither by her husband nor by her many children.
One has the feeling her true life begins after the death of her husband,with her living in Hampstead. The village of Hampstead represents an emotional as well as a spacial seperation from the children and her previous existence.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the heroine of this story is 88 years of age, what can one expect in terms of plot or events? Not much, really, but this is, nevertheless, a cracking book. The story starts off with the death of Lady Slane's husband, whose imposing career had made him a very public and respected figure. Lady Slane, essentially a free spirit but thwarted by her marriage in her ambitions to become a painter, has spent her life devoted to her husband's career and the upbringing of her six children, who, elderly themselves, think of her as unpractical and just too old to look after herself. She however surprises them all by deciding to live on her own in a house she'd spotted years earlier, and settling in a quiet life surrounded by a few confidants, avoiding the limelight and the attentions of her greedy and mean-spirited children unable to see their mother's true needs. In the time remaining to her she sagely looks back at her long life.

This short outline may not seem very promising, but this book has wisdom, wit and psychological understanding and it's very well written - I read it with unflagging interest. An excellent book, and I'll certainly look into Vita Sackville-West's other writings.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By the on 13 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a curious book. It is the recollections of an 88 year-old woman and her contemplation over her past as her very eminent husband dies and she is left -after 70 years of marriage- to reflect upon her choices and her life.

In worldly terms she had anything a woman of her time could want. A very successful marriage with a man she loved and who loved her, six children many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had a very enviable social status as her late husband had been a viceroy in India and a PM and no financial worries. She had anything that 'anyone' wants but not what she wanted albeit to live free of social constrains and to become a painter.

The novel compares her personal value system with the socially imposed value system presenting a person that succumbed to the demands on the world but always believed there was something fraud in her life.

There is little action in the book as it is written in a contemplative manner as the title suggests passionlessly. There is something Proustian in the narrating style which is slow and reflective. In concept it manifests how women (and maybe men too) were trapped by social expectations into a life that lacked authenticity.
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By Mrs G Tate on 26 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i enjoyed the book and took it in context to the time it was written. Vitta Sackville West takes you to the main character's inner world and looks at how she really feels about life and her family. She is having to live her life through her husband, and her children didn't even know her. You could feel the character come to life as she took her own house, chose her friends and made decisions about which family members could see her. A good read............
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By maureen on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had not read any of her books before but found this very endearing especially the description of the aging of a very old lady. It was beautifully sensitive. Also the description of her children and the other main characters. At some points it made me think of Dickens and at others I wondered at her idealism and complete rejection of wealth. A very sweet and thoughtful read.
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