All Passion Spent

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Overview

In 1860, as a young girl of 17, Lady Slane nurtures a secret, burning ambition—to become an artist. She becomes, instead, the wife of a great statesman and the mother of 6 children. Seventy years later, released by widowhood, and to the dismay of her pompous children, she abandons the family home for a tiny house in Hampstead. Here she recollects the dreams of youth, and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions: Genoux, her French maid; Mr. Bucktrout,...

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Overview

In 1860, as a young girl of 17, Lady Slane nurtures a secret, burning ambition—to become an artist. She becomes, instead, the wife of a great statesman and the mother of 6 children. Seventy years later, released by widowhood, and to the dismay of her pompous children, she abandons the family home for a tiny house in Hampstead. Here she recollects the dreams of youth, and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions: Genoux, her French maid; Mr. Bucktrout, her house agent; and a coffin maker who pictures people dead in order to reveal their true characters. And then there's Mr. FitzGeorge, an eccentric millionaire who met and loved her in India when she was young and very lovely. It is here in this world of her own that she finds a passion that comes only with the freedom to choose, and it is this, her greatest gift, that she passes on to the only one who can understand its value. First published in 1931, Vita Sackville-West's masterpiece is the fictional companion to her great friend Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

To the dismay of her pompous sons and daughters, a widow abandons the family home for a tiny one in order to recollect the artistic dreams of her youth and find the passion that comes with the freedom to choose.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sackville-West has borrowed in her prose writing some . . . function of poetry, the ability to suggest far more than she says."  —New York Times

"Witty and charming and graceful and brilliant."  —Chicago Tribune

"Shades of Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Ivy Compton-Burnett. A very gifted writer of fiction."  —Gay Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780860683582
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1983
  • Series: Virago Modern Classics
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2013

    A delightful and inspiring read about a woman being true -- at l

    A delightful and inspiring read about a woman being true -- at last -- to herself.  The writing is lovely and subject remains topical, even after all these years,  There is a quiet strength in this character that I continue to find inspirational. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2001

    Life begins at 86 for self-less widow/mother.

    This pre-WWII book remains timelessly interesting to readers of both genders. The book focuses on an 86 year old widow who begins her life after her former PM husband dies. Her four children have other plans for her, but she persists in changing her life radically and finding happiness. Ms. West writes with exceptionally talented prose and knows the corners of a woman's heart as well as the pressures of even a happy family's life. This is a very engaging book with profound insight.

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