Vita Sackville-West

vita sackville-west

Vita Sackville-West (March 9, 1892 – June 2, 1962), British poet and novelist, wrote of her life in the Kent countryside. Born at Knole Park, a 365-room ancestral home, her writing career was launched with the publication of Poems of East and West.

She’s known for her private life as well; she was bisexual and had many affairs with women, including Virginia Woolf. It’s believed that she was the inspiration for the title character of Woolf’s novel, Orlando.

Vita Sackville-West

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She enjoyed an open marriage with Harold George Nicolson, a writer, politician, and diplomat who was also bisexual. In creating an unusual family, including two successful sons, Nigel and Benedict, the couple was far ahead of time. She was part of the literary Bloomsbury circle, which included Woolf and her husband, Leonard, as well as E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, and others.

Vita focused mainly on fiction, but also used her considerable passion for gardening to produce essays and columns on the subject. The gardens she and her husband designed at their home, Sissinghurst Castle, are still visited and admired today. The Edwardians and All Passion Spent are arguably her best known works.

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Harold Nicolson,Vita Sackville-West, Rosamund Grosvenor & Lionel Sackville-West, 1913
Harold Nicolson,Vita Sackville-West, Rosamund Grosvenor & Lionel Sackville-West, 1913


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