The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH (9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962), best known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English author, poet and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her strong marriage (although she and her husband Harold Nicolson were both bisexual), her passionate affair with novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and Nicolson created at Sissinghurst.
Vita Sackville-West was born at Knole House near Sevenoaks Kent, the only child of Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville and his wife Victoria Sackville-West, who were cousins. Her mother was the natural daughter of Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville. Christened "Victoria Mary Sackville-West", she was known as "Vita" throughout her life, to distinguish her from her mother.
The Sackville family custom of following the Salic rules of agnatic male primogeniture prevented Vita from inheriting Knole on the death of her father. The house was bequeathed instead by her father to his younger brother Charles Sackville-West, 4th Baron Sackville. The loss of Knole would affect her for the rest of her life; of the signing in 1947 of documents relinquishing any claim on the property, part of its transition to the National Trust, she wrote that "the signing... nearly broke my heart, putting my signature to what I regarded as a betrayal of all the tradition of my ancestors and the house I loved."
Vita's portrait was painted by Hungarian-born portrait painter Philip de Laszlo in 1910, when she was seventeen. She thought it made her look like a vacuous Edwardian aristocrat, and kept it in her attic throughout her life. Portrait of Violet Trefusis by Sir John Lavery, 1919
Violet Trefusis was a writer and socialite. She was the daughter of Alice Keppel, a mistress of King Edward VII. She is chiefly remembered for her lesbian affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West. The affair was featured in novels by both parties, and also in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography. When she was 10, Violet met Vita (who was two years older) for the first time. Despite Vita and Violet’s marriages, they remained close until 1921, with a lot of passion and jealousy in the middle.From left to right: Harold Nickolson, Vita Sackville-West, Rosamund Grosvenor, Lionel Sackville-West, 1913Vita Sackville-West (March 9, 1892 – June 2, 1962) was an English author, poet & gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 & 1933. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, strong marriage (although she and her husband, Harold Nicolson, were both bisexual), her passionate affair with novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and Nicolson created at Sissinghurst. Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. ( Read more... )
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (21 November 1886 – 1 May 1968) was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.
Nicolson was born in Tehran, Persia, the younger son of diplomat Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock. He was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College, Oxford.
In 1909 he joined HM Diplomatic Service. He served as attaché at Madrid from February to September 1911, and then Third Secretary at Constantinople from January 1912 to October 1914. During the First World War, he served at the Foreign Office in London, during which time he was promoted Second Secretary. As the Foreign Office's most junior employee, it fell to him in August 1914 to hand Britain's revised declaration of war to the German ambassador in London. He served in a junior capacity in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, for which he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.
Promoted First Secretary in 1920, he was appointed private secretary to Sir Eric Drummond, first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, but was recalled to the Foreign Office in June 1920.( Read more... )
Violet Trefusis née Keppel (6 June 1894 – 29 February 1972) was an English writer and socialite. She is most notable for her lesbian affair with Vita Sackville-West, which was featured under disguise in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography
. In this romanticized biography of Vita, Trefusis appears in it as the Russian princess Sasha.
Born Violet Keppel, she was the daughter of Alice Keppel, a mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and her husband, the Hon. George Keppel, a son of an Earl of Albemarle. Her biological father, however, was considered by members of the Keppel family to be William Beckett, subsequently 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, a banker and MP for Whitby.
Trefusis lived her early youth in London, where the Keppel family had a house in Portman Square. When Trefusis was four years old, Alice Keppel became the favorite mistress of Albert Edward (Bertie), the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VII on 22 January 1901. He paid visits to the Keppel household in the afternoon around tea-time (while her husband, who was aware of the affair, was conveniently absent), on a regular basis till the end of his life in 1910. In 1900 Violet's only sibling, Sonia, was born.Orlando: A Biography
was not the only account of the love affair between Violet and Vita, which appears in reality to have been very much more strenuous than Woolf's enchanting account: both in fiction (Challenge
by Sackville-West and Trefusis, Broderie Anglaise a roman à clef in French
by Trefusis) and in non-fiction (Portrait of a Marriage
by Sackville-West with extensive "clarifications" added by her son Nigel Nicolson) further parts of the story appeared in print.
There are still the surviving letters and diaries written by the partakers in the plot. Apart from those of the two central players, there are records from Alice Keppel, Victoria Sackville-West, Harold Nicolson, Denys Trefusis and Pat Dansey. The Yale University Library-Collection contains correspondence, writings and other materials by or related to Violet Trefusis. The correspondence consists chiefly of approximately 500 letters from Trefusis to John Phillips written in the 1960s. Also included are letters to Trefusis from her mother, Alice Keppel, her sister, Sonia Keppel, and several governmental departments in France and England concerning Trefusis's re-entry into France after World War II, and her nomination to the Légion d'honneur. Writings include holograph and typescript drafts of Trefusis' memoirs, novels, plays and other writings. Other materials include a miniature case portrait of Trefusis as a child, and an album containing photographs of friends of the Keppels, taken by George Keppel between 1924-1939 at the family's Villa dell'Ombrellino in Florence, including many members of European nobility and royalty.( Read more... )
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher