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Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood

Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood [Kindle Edition]

Angelica Garnett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description


"Passionate, lucid, risky, rash, hard to put down and impossible to forget" (Hilary Spurling Observer)

"Beautifully written and admirably honest... Refreshing and surprising" (Fiona MacCarthy The Times)

Book Description

The classic account of a Bloomsbury childhood. 'Anyone who vowed never to read another word about Bloomsbury should relent over this book.' Christine Verity, Sunday Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 664 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (31 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052Z3HLW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,608 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first thing to note is that this is not a book for finding out about the Bloomsbury Group. The assumption is clearly that if you read this book, you already have an outline knowledge (although their labyrinthine couplings are really quite challenging). I must have read more about them than I remembered, probably when reading Virginia Woolf many moons ago. My interest was reignited by family tree research revealing a distant marital connection with Clive Bell's mother. Indeed, when it came up I thought, "Oh, no, not THE Clive Bell who was married to Vanessa Stephen", so something must have stuck. The intervening decades had rather blurred in my mind the full awfulness of their hypocrisy and how much easier it is to have unpopular views when cushioned with money and servants. Given their monumental self-indulgence, I wondered how prevalent it would be in Angelica's memoir, but it was pretty lacking in self pity. She blamed herself for so much, and her mother (who I previously had down as rather dreamy & ditsy, but this book showed her as merely self-obssessed - but quite pleasant compared to sister Virginia, who really was a piece of work.) Desperate to get away and for an education, Vanessa rejected Roedean & Bedales for her daughter (my mother's father also interviewed both - but she actually managed half a term at Bedales before running away) - then, like poor Angelica they both ended up at half-baked ladies' boarding schools that did their brains no favours. But at least my mother was not haunted by awe of the Bloomsburys. So sad, and Angelica does not even tell us of the various tragedies of her daughters. Permissiveness - beware! Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 10 Feb 2009
If you are interested in the Bloomsbury set, this is a fascinating and engrossing book. I relished the whole book and was sad to finish it. It gives an alternative insight into the Bloomsbury set giving a flavour of reality of what outwardly seems an idyllic lifestyle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very revealing autobiography 7 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Angelica Harnett's account of life growing up in the Bell part of the Bloomsbury set is very raw, perceptive and honest, throwing a new light on many of the complicated personal relationships in that set. A must-have book for Bloomsbury fans.
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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard feelings obscure vision 30 Sep 2002
By A Customer
I picked up the book because I was curious to learn more about the Bloomsbury people, especially Vanessa Bell. What I got instead was a hurt child's account of how her three parents never were interested enough in her to make her develop self-esteem and spoilt her instead of giving her proper guidance, which they obviously couldn't be bothered to do. This would be okay if Garnett described her childhood and her various relationships with her elders in detail, instead she stays on the surface of her own, often not very clear, emotional reactions, so we never quite learn where exactly her grudge stems from. Also we just don't get enough precise information on what happened when and why. Still, I could extract a few facts new to me.
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