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Customer Review

on 6 November 2011
Definitely one of the best biographies I've ever read (alongside Quentin Bell's, of his aunt Virgina Woolf)- satisfyingly informative, well paced, gripping, non judgemental, entertaining and well written. Although I was already fairly familiar with the contemporary world of Bloomsbury (to which V.S.W was only marginally connected, through her friendship with Virginia Woolf), I wanted to know more about her life from the very start, beyond her well known sexual leanings and her garden at Sissinghurst. What was it like growing up at Knole? What kind of background and experiences formed the writer and gardener she was to become? What was the key to her happy, loving and successful marriage, despite infidelities and homosexual leanings on both sides? All areas - V.S.W. as lover, wife, poet, gardener, and writer - are sensitively but unflinchingly portrayed, with well placed insertions of excerpts from diaries, poems and letters, and I wasn't disappointed on any score. Indeed, the book immerges you in V.S.W.'s life to such an extent that I was sad to reach the end. And it made me want to discover more about her writing. My only wish (not a criticism) is that I would have loved to see more photos - there are quite a few included in the 3 sections of illustrations, but more would have been even better, to match the richness of the life described.
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