Books

Pepita

Vita Sackville-West

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JULIET NICOLSON

Vita Sackville-West was an extraordinary woman from a long line of extraordinary women – this book tells their stories. Her grandmother Pepita, daughter of an old-clothes pedlar, made her fortune as a dancer and had a scandalous affair with an English diplomat. Their illegitimate daughter Victoria, Vita's mother, spent her childhood hidden in a convent but went on to be the glamorous mistress of Knole, one of the grandest old houses in England. Vita brings her legendary wit, passion and eccentricity to this colourful family portrait.

The Edwardians

Vita Sackville-West

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY KATE WILLIAMS

Sebastian is young, handsome and romantic, the heir to a vast and beautiful English country estate. He is a fixed feature in the eternal round of lavish parties, intrigues and traditions at the cold, decadent heart of Edwardian high society. Everyone knows the role he must play, but Sebastian isn't sure he wants the part. Position, privilege and wealth are his, if he can resist the lure of a brave new world.

All Passion Spent

Vita Sackville-West

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOANNA LUMLEY

When the great statesman Lord Slane dies, everyone assumes his dutiful wife will slowly fade away, the paying guest of each of her six children. But Lady Slane surprises everyone by escaping to a rented house in Hampstead where she revels in her new freedom, revives youthful ambitions and gathers some very unsuitable companions. Irreverent, entertaining and insightful, this is a tale of the unexpected joys of growing older.

Biography

Vita Sackville-West was born in 1892 at Knole in Kent, the only child of aristocratic parents. In 1913 she married diplomat Harold Nicolson, with whom she had two sons and travelled extensively before settling at Kent’s Sissinghurst Castle in 1930, where she devoted much of her time to creating its now world-famous garden. Throughout her life Sackville-West had a number of other relationships with both men and women, and her unconventional marriage would later become the subject of a biography written by her son Nigel Nicolson. Though she produced a substantial body of work, amongst which are writings on travel and gardening, Sackville-West is best known for her novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931), and for the pastoral poem The Land (1926), which was awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Prize. Sackville-West died on 2 June 1962 at her Sissinghurst home, aged seventy.