The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West

EdwardiansWriting with one hand at the moment, for various boring health reasons, which is why you’re likely to get a few short posts from me for the time being. Including this Shiny New Books link to an excellent novel by Vita Sackville-West. The more I read by her, the more I think her social history has unjustly overshadowed her writing – and The Edwardians was her bestseller. And while you’re there, check out Five Fascinating Facts about VSW.

While Vita Sackville-West is today best remembered as having (probably) been the lover of Virginia Woolf, and as the mind behind the garden at Sissinghurst, she was also a novelist of repute during her life. Indeed, The Edwardians – now republished alongside All Passion Spent by Vintage, both with Gosia Herba’s striking cover designs – was such a phenomenal seller that it helped keep Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s publishing house, Hogarth Press, afloat. Has this 1930 novel stood the test of time? Short answer: absolutely. It is somehow both riotous and thoughtful, borrowing from the modernists without losing its popular touch.

7 thoughts on “The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West

  • May 25, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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    This is a book I should pick up. I have been reading one Woolf book a month and recently read Orlando. I would like to see Vita’s writing style

  • May 25, 2016 at 5:42 pm
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    Oo, so sorry about your hand :(

    If you want to read more VS-W and are in the mood for something very different than The Edwardians, try The Dark Island. It is admittedly a little strange and is often not on everyone’s best loved VS-W book lists! But it’s on mine :)

    • June 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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      Not heard of that one, Laurie! I have just read Grand Canyon, which was very bizarre, but good.

  • May 27, 2016 at 1:39 am
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    Best wishes for a very quick recovery, Simon!
    I’ve been exploring your archives and making a note of many, many interesting authors and titles. What a wonderful way you have of writing about books!
    I picked up Vita’s “Country Notes in Wartime” (a Hogarth Press edition from 1940!) in a lovely bookshop a couple of years ago, but still haven’t read it. I’m thinking it would be the perfect book to bring on a picnic this summer…

    • June 7, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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      Thanks Danielle – for health wishes and for the lovely thing you say about my blog :)
      Country Notes sounds an absolute delight – I hadn’t heard of that one. Perfect for a picnic, definitely.

  • May 27, 2016 at 10:05 pm
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    Oh dear…and how frustrating! I own a green Virago copy of this but haven’t read it yet. Glad to see you’re giving it a thumbs up, Simon…and I’m not making light of your situation, poor thing.

    • June 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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      Aww, thanks Darlene! And you’d love this book, I guarantee.

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