A Book of Secrets is a masterfully atmospheric treasure-trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements and family mysteries. Taking the reader on a journey of discovery from Ravello to Paris, from Kirkstall Grange in Yorkshire to Vita Sackville-West's home at Knole, A Book of Secrets lucidly gives voice to fragile human connections.
A Book of Secrets is a masterfully atmospheric treasure-trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements and family mysteries.
Acclaimed biographer Michael Holroyd peers into dusty corners to bring a company of unknown women into the light; Alice Keppel was the mistress of both the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales; Eve Fairfax was Lord Grimthorpe's abandoned fiancee and sometime muse of Auguste Rodin; and the novelist Violet Trefusis was the lover of Vita Sackville-West.
Taking the reader on a journey of discovery from Ravello to Paris, from Kirkstall Grange in Yorkshire to Vita Sackville-West's home at Knole, A Book of Secrets lucidly gives voice to fragile human connections.
Besides the Lives of Augustus John, Bernard Shaw and Lytton Strachey (which was filmed as Carrington), Michael Holroyd has written two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. His most recent book, A Strange Eventful History, winner of the James Tait Black Prize, was a biography of two great theatrical dynasties which included Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, and her son Edward Gordon Craig. He has been president of the Royal Society of Literature and is the first non-fiction writer to have been awarded the British Literature Prize. He lives in London and Somerset with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.
"A subtle paean to the art of biography. It is a biographical experiment, but a deeply humane and sensitive one. It glows with the energy of lives investigated, restored, reanimated and celebrated." -- Sarah Bakewell Sunday Times "Here, he has given us the distilled essence of biography and a fitting end to what he evokes as "the comedy of life"." -- Lisa Appignanesi Observer "As is always the case with Holroyd, the reader comes away equally inspired, equally curious, and lavishly entertained by a story-teller of the first rank" Scotsman "A small gem of humanity, curiosity and observation with a wonderful, rolling undercurrent of comedy" Sunday Telegraph "Scintillating... Holroyd's book is a sly, inconclusive and utterly bewitching dance through the elusive narrative echoes that make up the biographer's art" Metro
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