A Book of Secrets

Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers

Holroyd, Michael

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
A Book of Secrets
Print
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.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374115586
0374115583
Branch Call Number: 306.8742 H
Characteristics: xiv, 258 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

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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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