Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West

3.29 avg rating
( 87 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007486984: Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West

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 is perhaps best known as the creator, with her husband Harold Nicolson, of the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, now the most visited gardens in Britain. In a career spanning more than forty years, she also made her mark as a prolific and accomplished writer. She was an award-winning poet, a best-selling novelist, a biographer, a travel writer and a journalist with a huge and devoted following. Images of Vita – striking, poised, aristocratic, and intellectual – remain iconic even now. Yet these public images do not tell all. Behind the mask another, more complicated Vita lay.

Here, in the first biography to be written for thirty years, Matthew Dennison reveals a renegade, brave and charismatic woman: from a lonely childhood of immense privilege in her beloved family house Knole (which she, as a woman, could never inherit), to a celebrated and affectionate marriage which was nevertheless mutually ‘open’ and strewn with passionate homosexual affairs (in Vita's case, most famously with Virginia Woolf and Violet Trefusis); from the hubbub of jewel-encrusted parties at Buckingham Palace, to the solace Vita found in nature and gardening and the eventual seclusion of her tower at Sissinghurst.

Drawing on sources from archives across the globe as well as Vita's own prolific written output, Dennison traces the inspiration, triumphs and contradictions of Vita’s extraordinary life. Devoted wife, literary celebrity, 'Rose Queen', reluctant courtier, recluse, lesbian, iconoclast – Dennison deftly weaves together the myriad strands of Vita’s life to create a revealing and insightful portrait of the woman behind the mask.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

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.

Review:

BOOK OF THE YEAR as chosen by:

The Times
Independent
Observer

'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

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by William Collins (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
HALCYON BOOKS
(LONDON, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Collins, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. DISPATCHED FROM THE UK WITHIN 24 HOURS ( BOOKS ORDERED OVER THE WEEKEND DISPATCHED ON MONDAY) BY ROYAL MAIL. ALL OVERSEAS ORDERS SENT BY AIR MAIL. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000428156

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
2.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007486984

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.84
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FC-9780007486984

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West, 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. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007486984

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.75
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007486984

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.77
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Dennison, Matthew
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800074869840000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From U.S.A. to United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by William Collins (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Softcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Speedy Hen
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Collins, 2015. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007486987. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007486987

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.08
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2015-06-04, London (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 2015-06-04, London, 2015. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007486984

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Dennison, Matthew
Published by William Collins 2015-06-04 (2015)
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Collins 2015-06-04, 2015. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-05189941

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.49
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Dennison, Matthew
ISBN 10: 0007486987 ISBN 13: 9780007486984
New Paperback Quantity Available: 6
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 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. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007486984_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book