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Behind the Mask The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison
  

Behind the Mask The Life of Vita Sackville-West

Biography / Autobiography   

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Aristocrat, literary celebrity, 'Rose Queen', devoted wife, lesbian, recluse, iconoclast - Vita Sackville-West was many things, but she was never straightforward. Her life is re-told here in a dazzling new biography.

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Synopsis

Behind the Mask The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison

Aristocrat, literary celebrity, 'Rose Queen', devoted wife, lesbian, recluse, iconoclast - Vita Sackville-West was many things, but she was never straightforward. Her life is re-told here in a dazzling new biography. Vita Sackville-West was a woman who defied categorisation. She was the dispossessed girl whose lonely childhood at Knole inspired enduring feats of imagination, the celebrated author and poet, the adored and affectionate wife whose marriage included passionate homosexual affairs (most famously with Virginia Woolf ), and the recluse who found in nature and her garden at Sissinghurst Castle solace from the contradictions of her extraordinary life. In this dazzling new biography, Matthew Dennison traces these complexities, depicting a prolific, radical, sensitive and uncompromising figure in all her depth.

Reviews

BOOK OF THE YEAR as chosen by:The TimesIndependentObserver'Dennison captures both Vita's irresistible charm and her selfishness. Like his subject, he is a natural storyteller, and his impeccable scholarship never weighs down his lively narrative
Independent

`Brave man to take on the biography of Vita, and he has brought it off superbly ... It studies and reveals this extraordinary woman as well as could possibly be. A fine achievement
Spectator, Susan Hill

`Astute and engaging, Dennison looks again at Vita's extraordinary life and makes a new sort of sense of it ... fascinating ... an insightful book. The connections between Vita's childhood, her dispossessions, her sexuality and her writing are compellingly explored. Vita emerges as a complex and interesting character, and far more than a gay icon
Literary Review

`Dennison emphasises the desire for solitude that existed in tension with her joyous sensuality and need for love
Guardian

`Detailed and fascinating ... Dennison shows true admiration for his latest subject ... freshly chronicled here for the first time in more than 30 years
Daily Express

`Intimate ... A splendid biography of a splendid character
The Lady

'This astute and engaging book looks again at Vita's extraordinary life and makes a new sort of sense of it ... Fascinating ... Insightful ... The connections between Vita's childhood, her dispossession, her sexuality and her writing are compellingly explored. Vita emerges as a complex and interesting character, and far more than a gay icon'
Literary Review

`Comprehensively documents her literary ... with evocative portraits of her husband [and lovers] ... Dennison's Vita is convincingly ambivalent and inflammatory, a product of her age
New Statesman

'This carefully researched book is intelligently and elegantly written ... balanced, oratical and confident'
Spectator

`Brilliant ... thorough and engaging
Daily Mail

About the Author

Matthew Dennison is the author of the critically acclaimed 'The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter', written with the full assistance of the Royal Archives and published in nine UK editions to date, 'Empress of Rome: The Life of Livia', 'The Twelve Caesars' and 'Queen Victoria'. Described in the Independent as 'one of those rare marvels, a historical biographer whose work has reached the bestseller lists', he is also a regular contributor to Country Life, Telegraph Magazine, the Times and Majesty.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th May 2015

Author

Matthew Dennison

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Publisher

William Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Biography: literary
Literary studies: from c 1900 -
Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers

ISBN

9780007486984

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