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Violet Trefusis was an English writer and socialite. She is chiefly remembered for her lengthy affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West, which the two women continued after their respective marriages.
Born: June 6, 1894, London, United Kingdom
Died: March 1, 1972, Florence
Lived: 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 7BH, UK (51.51564, -0.15724)
Villa dell’Ombrellino, 11 Piazza di Bellosguardo, 50124 Florence, Italy (43.76501, 11.23752)
Tour de la Haute Maison, Rue de la Tour, 77650 Saint-Loup-de-Naud, France (48.53621, 3.21181)
Buried: Cimitero Evangelico degli Allori, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy, Plot: 2PPsSI VIII 45u
Find A Grave Memorial# 9521225
Parents: Alice Keppel
Books: Violet to Vita, Don't look round, Pirates at play, more
Grandparents: William Edmonstone, Mary Elizabeth Parsons

Violet Trefusis was an English 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 in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography: in this romanticized biography of Vita, Trefusis appears as the Russian princess Sasha. Trefusis was an inspiration to many writers' fiction and was a pivotal character in their novels including Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate as "Lady Montdore" and in Harold Acton's The Soul's Gymnasium as "Muriel", a fictional portrait of her. 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 1923 on, Trefusis was one of the many lovers of the Singer sewing machine heiress, Winnaretta Singer, daughter of Isaac Singer and wife of the homosexual Prince Edmond de Polignac, who introduced her to the artistic beau-monde in Paris. Vita died in 1962. Violet died at L'Ombrellino on the Bellosguardo in 1972.

Together from 1904 to 1921: 17 years.
Violet Keppel Trefusis (June 6, 1894 – February 29, 1972)
The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH (March 9, 1892 – June 2, 1962)



Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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Accomodation: Violet Trefusis lived her early youth in London, where the Keppel family had a house in 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 7BH.

Address: 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 7BH, UK (51.51564, -0.15724)

Place
In 1898, 29-year-old Alice Keppel met Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the 56-year-old heir apparent to the throne. It was not long before she became one of Edward’s many mistresses, despite a twenty-six-year age difference. The Prince immediately made her "La Favorita" and his semi-official mistress. Keppel lived at 30 Portman Square, where Edward visited her regularly; her husband conveniently left during the visits. Her relationship with Edward would last through his ascension to the throne in 1901 until his death in 1910. Keppel was one of the few people in Edward VII’s circle who was able to smooth his strange mood swings. She was able to turn the cranky monarch into a happy man. Sir Harold Acton described Keppel, "None could compete with her glamour as a hostess. She could have impersonated Britannia in a tableau vivant and done that lady credit." Keppel was the inspiration behind the character "Mrs. Romola Cheyne" in Vita Sackville-West’s novel, “The Edwardians.” Through her youngest daughter, Sonia Cubitt, Keppel is the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Portman Square is a square in London, part of the Portman Estate. It is located at the western end of Wigmore Street, which connects it to Cavendish Square to its east. It was built between 1765 and 1784 on land belonging to Henry William Portman. It included residences of Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton, Sir Brook Bridges, 3rd Baronet, Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, George Keppel, 6th Earl of Albemarle, Sir Charles Asgill, 1st Baronet and William Henry Percy. Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife maintained his London residence at No. 15 Portman Square. No. 30 is currently the Churchill Hotel, incorporating the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli.In 1929, Gerald Heard (1889-1971) and Christopher Wood (1900-1976) moved to 28 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 6LL, where they inhabited a modern new luxury flat overlooking the roof garden of Selfridge’s department store, with “a cat which tone[d] in perfectly with the furnishings.” Like Heard, Wood had had an unhappy childhood. Born Christopher William Graham Wood to a wealthy wholesale grocery family in Lambeth, Surrey, his mother died in childbirth, and his father remarried and died shortly thereafter. His father, Graham Wood, bequeathed to him the bulk of his estate (valued at 101,556 pounds in 1905) and the guardianship of a jealous stepmother. Wood and Heard had grown in opposite directions from their early experiences: where Wood had learned to hang back, Heard had learned to entertain. Where Heard sought pleasure in ideas and spirituality and clothes, Wood sought it almost entirely in things. Where Heard dedicated himself to his writing, Wood never completed his Cambridge degree. Christopher Isherwood described Wood as “the spoilt, wayward younger son, with his airplane, his musical boxes, his superbicycle and all his other dangerous or expensive amusements and toys.” E.M. Forster took a definite dislike to Wood, describing him as “that shit.” Heard and Wood were like two sides of one person, which, according to Isherwood, gave them the air of brothers. Wood looked after Heard’s material needs, and his inheritance allowed Heard a better lifestyle than he could have achieved on his own. Still, he complained of poverty whenever Wood left town.

Life
Who: Violet Trefusis, née Keppel; (June 6, 1894 – February 29, 1972)
Violet Trefusis was a writer and socialite. She is chiefly remembered for her lengthy affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West, which the two women continued after their respective marriages to men. Trefusis wrote novels and non-fiction works, both in English and French. The affair was featured in novels by both parties, in Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando: A Biography,” and in many letters and memoirs of the period, roughly 1912–1922. Many are preserved at Yale University Library. Trefusis also inspired other fiction and was featured as a pivotal character in these novels, including Lady Montdore in Nancy Mitford’s “Love in a Cold Climate” and Muriel in Harold Acton’s “The Soul’s Gymnasium.” Born Violet Keppel, she was the daughter of Alice Keppel, later a mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and her husband, The Hon. George Keppel, a son of the 7th Earl of Albemarle. Members of the Keppel family thought her biological father was William Beckett, subsequently 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, a banker and MP for Whitby.



Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906312
ISBN-10: 1532906315
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228833
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House: Violet Trefusis published several novels, some in English, some in French, that she had written in her medieval "Tour" in Saint-Loup-de-Naud, Seine-et-Marne, France – a gift from Winnaretta Singer.

Address: Rue de la Tour, 77650 Saint-Loup-de-Naud, France (48.53621, 3.21181)

Place
Built in the XIII century
The Tower of the "High House” is the former stronghold of the priory of Saint-Loup. In the XV century, because of the ruin of the priory of Saint-Loup, it became property of local lords. It passed into the hands of the family de Saint-Phalle, and the Princess de Polignac, who gave it to her lover, Violet Trefusis. Trefusis received here her friends, like Marcel Proust, who came to visit and invented for his novel “In Search of Lost Time,” the character of the Marquis de Saint-Loup. Violet Trefusis held a literary salon here from 1945 to 1966. Upon her death, the property was sold and furniture dispersed. The Tower is classified as historical monuments by order of February 16, 1990.

Life
Who: Violet Trefusis, née Keppel; (June 6, 1894 – February 29, 1972)
From 1923 to 1933, Violet Trefusis was one of the many lovers of the Singer sewing machine heiress Winnaretta Singer, daughter of Isaac Singer and wife of the homosexual Prince Edmond de Polignac, who introduced her to the artistic beau-monde in Paris. Trefusis conceded more and more to her mother’s model of being "socially acceptable" but, at the same time, not wavering in her sexuality. Singer, like Vita Sackville-West before her, dominated the relationship, though apparently to mutual satisfaction. The two were together for many years and seem to have been content. Trefusis’s mother, Alice Keppel, did not object to this affair, most likely because of Singer’s wealth and power, and the fact that Singer carried on the affair in a much more disciplined way than Vita Sackville-West. Trefusis seemed to prefer the role of the submissive and therefore fitted well with Singer, who, whip in hand, was typically dominant and in control in her relationships. Neither was completely faithful during their long affair, but, unlike Trefusis’s affair with Sackville-West, this seems to have had no negative effect on their understanding. Alvilde Chaplin, future wife of the author James Lees-Milne, was involved with Singer from 1938 to 1943; the two women were living together in London at the time of Winnaretta’s death. Violet Trefusis died at L’Ombrellino on the Bellosguardo on February 29, 1972. Her ashes were placed both in Florence and in Saint-Loup-de-Naud in the monks’ refectory near her tower.



Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906695
ISBN-10: 1532906692
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228901
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House: In 1925, Alice Keppel and her husband moved to Italy. Their daughters stayed in Britain due to their marriages. They bought Villa dell’Ombrellino in Bellosguardo near Florence, however returned to Britain in 1940, due to WWII.

Address: 11 Piazza di Bellosguardo, 50124 Florence, Italy (43.76501, 11.23752)

Place
The villa had been the home of the scientist Galileo, the poet Foscolo and the scholar C. E. Norton. Alice Keppel commissioned the architect Cecil Pinsent to lay out the villa terrace with bisecting paths, which she named a “Union Jack garden”; and after her death her daughter Violet Trefusis maintained the villa and its garden. Villa dell’Ombrellino on Bellosguardo is located in the square at number 11, in the neighborhood of Bellosguardo in Florence. The origins of the villa date back to 1372. For four years, the Villa di Bellosguardo, as it was called at that time, was inhabited by the Segni family, whose most illustrious member was the historian Bernardo Segni. In 1815 the villa was owned by the Countess Teresa Spinelli Albizi who had it completely restored. She placed on the large garden terrace that looks towards Florence a kind of iron sun Chinese umbrella that gave its name to the villa. In 1874 the building was purchased by the family Zoubow (Zubov.) Four years later, they joined it with the adjacent villa della Torricella. The merger of the two properties led to a remodeling of the two gardens, joined in one large romantic park, featuring many exotic species, such as palms, bamboo, cedar and gingko biloba. In the early years of the XX century the house passed to English woman Alice Keppel, famous beauty, known for being the favorite of Edward VII, exiled from the English court at the death of the king, which, to expand the view, demolished the Torricella, replacing it with a loggia for music. The whole park was littered with statues neo-XVI and XVIII century in Vicenza stone, concentrated particularly in the overlooking Florence. In 1926 this area of the garden was transformed into an "Italian garden,” with flower beds bordered by box hedges, by the English architect Cecil Pinsent. On the death of Alice Keppel in 1947, the villa was inherited by her eldest daughter, Violet Trefusis, which remained there until her death. Writer and essayist, Violet, which included friends and correspondents as Vita Sackville-West and François Mitterrand, has endeavored to maintain the villa and garden to the levels of the time of her mother, with a focus on flowers in pots and in the ground. The villa has had many famous guests. Galileo Galilei lived there between 1617 and 1631 and in those years he wrote his "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.” Anna Cora Mowatt known as Mrs. Ritchie, novelist and author of articles on the life and the events in Florence for American newspapers. Charles Eliot Norton, a scholar of Italian art and architecture, stayed all’Ombrellino between the end of 1870 and the spring of 1871. The impressionist painter Marcellin Desboutin, stayed there in the mid-XIX century. Until recently the villa was home to a conference center and services, but it’s now closed due to bankruptcy.

Life
Who: Violet Trefusis, née Keppel; (June 6, 1894 – February 29, 1972)
In 1924, Alice Keppel bought L’Ombrellino, a large villa overlooking Florence. After her parents’ death in 1947, Violet Trefusis would become the chatelaine of L’Ombrellino till the end of her life. Trefusis died at L’Ombrellino on the Bellosguardo on February 29, 1972. She died of starvation, the effect of a malabsorption disease. Her ashes were placed both in Florence at the Cimitero degli Allori (The Evangelical Cemetery of Laurels) and in Saint-Loup-de-Naud in the monks’ refectory near her tower. In the 1990 BBC Mini-series “Portrait of a Marriage,” Violet Trefusis is portrayed by Cathryn Harrison.



Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906695
ISBN-10: 1532906692
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228901
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532906692/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZXI10E/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Cemetery: Cimitero Evangelico agli Allori ("The Evangelical Cemetery of Laurels") is located in Florence, Italy, between 'Due Strade' and Galluzzo. The small cemetery was opened on February 26, 1860 when the non-Catholic communities of Florence could no longer bury their dead in the English Cemetery in Piazzale Donatello.

Address: Via Senese, 184, 50124 Firenze, Italy (43.74775, 11.22999)

Place
The Cemetery is named after the Allori farm where it was located. Initially a Protestant cemetery, the site is now private. Since 1970 it has accepted the dead of other denominations, including Muslims. The cemetery became newsworthy in 2006 when the writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci was buried there alongside her family and a stone memorial to Alexandros Panagoulis, her companion.

Notable queer burials at Cimitero Evangelico agli Allori:
• Harold Acton (1904-1994), British writer. Harold Acton’s younger brother, William, a gay artist of modest achievement, died an apparent suicide in 1945. William Acton was a British visual artist who was born in 1906. Several works by the artist have been sold at auction, including 'Armiola' sold at Christie's New York 'Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art' in 2016 for $23,080.
• Robert Wiedeman Barrett Browning, known as Pen Browning, (1849–1912), English painter. His career was moderately successful, but he is better known as the son and heir of the celebrated English poets, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
• Leo Ditrichstein (1865-1928), American actor and playwriter. Educated in Austria, Ditrichstein was the author of a number of plays, five of which were made into motion pictures. Worked with Gareth Hughes, Welsh actor in theater and film who worked primarily in the United States, and who, according to historian William J. Mann, was a "flaming little queen".
• Alice Keppel (1868-1947), British mistress of Edward VII and mother of Violet Trefusis.
• John Pope-Hennessy (1913-1994), British art historian.
• Violet Page, aka Vernon Lee (1856-1935), British writer.
• Charles Alexander Loeser (1864–1928), American art historian and art collector.
• Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969), British writer.
• Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), British art collector.
• Violet Trefusis (1894-1972), English and French writer.
• Reginald Turner (1869-1938), British writer. Turner numbered among his friends Max Beerbohm, Lord Alfred Douglas, H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, Somerset Maugham, D. H. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Osbert Sitwell and others of the London literary scene during the late XIX and early XX century. S. N. Behrman said of him, "He was one of those men who talk like angels and write like pedestrians". Harold Acton agreed, writing of Turner's conversation, "One forgot to eat while he spun his fantasies." Beerbohm said, "He would be eloquent even were he dumb," and Maugham wrote, "Reggie Turner was, on the whole, the most amusing man I have known." After Wilde's death, Turner, who was homosexual, felt few ties to England.



Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906695
ISBN-10: 1532906692
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228901
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532906692/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZXI10E/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

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