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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cautionary tale of permissive parenting & education
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...
Published 22 months ago by Cornwallgurl

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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard feelings obscure vision
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...
Published on 30 Sept. 2002


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cautionary tale of permissive parenting & education, 2 July 2013
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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!

It did highlight to me how much they (the Bloomsburys) relished their isolation and how much they liked sneering at "outsiders" - although repeatedly linked by family connections, many of whom, interestingly, were from old Raj stock rather than the intellectual elite. Clive was despised as a nouveau riche, and his wealthy but kindly parents relentlessly sneered at - but Angelica's paternity seemed to be hidden for the mercenary reason of remaining in their wills - yukkk. Clive came across rather better than some of the gang - despite his promiscuity, he didn't seem ashamed of his money, and presumably Vanessa was able to "take" houses and "do them up" and travel to France so frequently - not to mention the cooks, nannies, ladies maids et al which were deemed essential to her artistic well-being, on the strength of his money. Leonard Woolf was sneered at ostensibly for being rather disciplinarian, and his background in the Ceylon Civil Service referred to - but one hopes this is not cover for anti-Semitism. All in all, a nastier bunch you could not hope to encounter - all pleading pacificism and doing some farmer a great favour leasing and working his land to fulfill the requirements, except for Vanessa's son who was killed in the Spanish Civil war. Not a cheery read, but extremely instructive.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
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
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J. Forse "John Forse" (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard feelings obscure vision, 30 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceived with Kindness, 7 April 2012
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Scottart (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
This is a wonderful read. From the 'horse's mouth' so to speak. All you want to know about the Bloomsbury set. And beautifully written with feeling, perception and incredible detail. A real insight. Remarkably Garnett is still with us living in Provence in France.A Bigger Splash (DVD + Blu-ray)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A childhood in Charleston, 6 Oct. 2012
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I really enjoyed this autobiography from Vanessa Bell's daughter. I had visited Charleston in September and this inspired me to download the book. Having it on my Kindle was great - the book had previously been borrowed from a friend and never got read! It is a good story about how she grew up in this unusual household at Charleston in Sussex and in Bloomsbury, and her relationships with her mother (Vanessa) her mother's husband (Clive Bell) and her father who was her mother's lover Duncan Grant and their firends who were all painters and writers. Vanessa Bell was the sister of Virginia Woolf whioch gives a further dimension to the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
Prompt service. Well worth the 1p I paid for it! :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Dec. 2014
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Terrific read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
I enjoyed it.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceived with Kindness - Angelica Garnett, 15 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (Paperback)
Am delighted to have the book - but - very unhappy about paying international mailing rates when the book was mailed to me in the USA * (Books Any New York to my home in
Texas). Why was I charged for a mailing from the UK to USA?
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Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood
Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood by Angelica Garnett (Paperback - 2 Mar. 1995)
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