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Summary Article: Sackville-West, V(ictoria Mary) from Chambers Biographical Dictionary

also called

Vita

1892-1962

English poet and novelist

Born in Knole, Kent, she was educated privately, and started writing novels and plays as a child. In 1913 she married the diplomat Harold Nicolson; their marriage survived despite Nicolson's homosexuality and her own long-term affair with Virginia Woolf. Her first published works were a collection of poems, Poems of West and East (1917), and a novel, Heritage (1919). In her Orchard and Vineyard (1921) and her long poem The Land, which won the 1927 Hawthornden Prize, she expresses her closeness to the countryside where she lived. Her prose works include the novels The Edwardians (1930), All Passion Spent (1931) and No Signposts in the Sea (1961), an account of her family in Knole and the Sackvilles (1947) and studies of Andrew Marvell and Joan of Arc. Passenger to Teheran (1926) records her years in Persia with her husband, and she was the model for Woolf's Orlando (1928). She was a passionate gardener at her home at Sissinghurst in Kent (now owned by the National Trust), and wrote a weekly gardening column for The Observer for many years.

  • Steven, M, Vita Sackville-West: A Critical Biography (1973).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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