Review: Vita Sackville-West’s “The Edwardians”

by writereaderly

vita sackville-west the edwardiansI quite enjoyed All Passion Spent when I read it sometime last year (or perhaps the year before?) — it was good to know that VSW was actually a good writer, as well as being rippingly famous for her life between the literary sheets –, and this was such a lovely snail-eaten edition from 1960 that I didn’t bother to resist it when I saw it in the book opshop. The Edwardians is a portrait of the rot-beneath-the-velvet of the Duke of Chevron and family – seen through young and charming Sebastian and his lovers – as contrasted with the slightly wooden explorer/renegade Leonard Anquetil (who *surely* wants to jump Sebastian and vice-versa), and the bourgeoise doctor’s wife Teresa Spedding. It’s fabulous for the real-life detail of Edwardian life and Society, interesting in that it questions the era’s values, a little overplayed and demagogical in deploring them through Anquetil, Sebastian and sister Viola. However, an enjoyable and surprisingly absorbing read; recommended.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Assorted bed, armchair, waiting-around reads
Where it went: MR
Reminds me of/that: How much I enjoy the Edwardian Queers
Who I’d recommend it to: Historically and literature-ly interested readers
Also reading: Rabbit #4; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades by Munya Andrews; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak