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A Book of Secrets

Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers
Holroyd, Michael (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
A Book of Secrets
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Baker & Taylor
The author shares the stories of unknown women who played significant roles in the lives of prominent figures, including a mistress shared by the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales, a creative muse of Auguste Rodin, and a novelist lover of Vita Sackville-West.

McMillan Palgrave
A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction book of 2011
A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction title for 2011

On a hill above the Italian village of Ravello sits the Villa Cimbrone, a place of fantasy and make-believe. The characters that move through Michael Holroyd’s new book are destined never to meet, yet the Villa Cimbrone unites them all.

A Book of Secrets is a treasure trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements, and family mysteries. With grace and tender imagination, Holroyd brings a company of unknown women into the light. From Alice Keppel, the mistress of both the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales; to Eve Fairfax, a muse of Auguste Rodin; to the novelist Violet Trefusis, the lover of Vita Sackville-West—these women are always on the periphery of the respectable world.

Also on the margins is the elusive biographer, who on occasion turns an appraising eye upon himself as part of his investigations in the maze of biography. In A Book of Secrets, Holroyd gives voice to fragile human connections and the mystery of place.



Baker
& Taylor

The award-winning author of A Strange Eventful History shares the stories of unknown women who played significant roles in the lives of prominent figures, including a mistress shared by the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales, a creative muse of Auguste Rodin and a novelist lover of Vita Sackville-West. 10,000 first printing.

Authors: Holroyd, Michael
Statement of Responsibility: Michael Holroyd
Title: A book of secrets
illegitimate daughters, absent fathers
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Edition: 1st American ed
Characteristics: xiv, 258 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents: Preface: The world turned upside down
The importance of being Ernest and some women of no importance
Ernest goes abroad
All about Eve
With Catherine at Cimbrone
Excitements, earthquakes, and elopements
Women in love
Ultraviolet
Emergency exits
Looking round
Epilogue: Time regained
Afterword: A history of the books
Family trees
Subject Headings: Fathers and daughters Mistresses Biography Unmarried mothers Biography Absentee fathers Biography Illegitimate children Biography Daughters Biography Gifted women Biography Women Biography
Topical Term: Fathers and daughters
Mistresses
Unmarried mothers
Absentee fathers
Illegitimate children
Daughters
Gifted women
Women
LCCN: 2011003839
ISBN: 0374115583
9780374115586
Branch Call Number: 306.8742 H
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Aug 29, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Taking place over the course of a century, acclaimed biographer Michael Holroyd reveals the stories of several loosely connected lives and the Villa Cimbrone in Italy that join them. Beautifully written and full of surprises, the author shines a spotlight on individuals who have been on the periphery of history including Eve Fairfax, a celebrated beauty and model for Rodin, and Violet Trefusis, the lover of Vita Sackville-West. Elegant and witty, A Book of Secrets is a unique book by a gifted writer.

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