'The best of these Darwins is that they are cut out of rock - three taps is enough to convince one how immense is their solidarity.' So wrote Virginia Woolf affectionately of Gwen Raverat, the granddaughter of Charles Darwin.
In this first full biography, Frances Spalding looks beyond the artist Gwen Raverat's childhood memoir; Period Piece, and creates a fascinating and moving portrait of Charles Darwin's granddaughter. She explores her Darwin inheritance; her conflicts when she moves beyond her home environment to enter the Slade School of Art; her encounter with post-Impressionism; and her friendships with Stanley Spencer, Rupert Brooke and members of the Bloomsbury set. At each stage, Gwen's artistic creativity is interwoven with her relationships and circumstances. She helps revive the medium of wood-engraving and with her husband, Jacques Raverat, celebrates the South of France in the art they produce while living in Venice.
Drawing on a huge cache of unpublished papers, Spalding brings us a life lived with bravery, humour; realism and integrity, surrounded by a remarkable cast of relatives, friends and associates.
WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY FRANCES SPALDING AND ERICA WAGNER
A party of English people board the Euphrosyne bound for South America. Among them is Rachel Vinrace, young, innocent and wholly ignorant of the world of politics and society. She is a free spirit, half-caught, momentarily and passionately, by Terence Hewet, an aspiring writer. But their engagement is to end abruptly, not in marriage but in tragedy.
Published in 1915, The Voyage Out was Virginia Woolf's first novel.
Frances Spalding is an art historian, biographer and critic. Her acclaimed book, Roger Fry: Art and Life, was followed by a biography of Vanessa Bell, which led to an invitation ten years later to write on Duncan Grant. In between she wrote British Art since 1900, Stevie Smith: A Critical Biography and Dance Till the Stars Come Down: A Life of John Minton. She is currently editor of Charleston Magazine.