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A family memoir that traces the myths, legends, and secrets of seven generations of remarkable women All families have their myths and legends. For many years Juliet Nicolson accepted hers--the dangerous beauty of her flamenco dancing great-great-grandmother Pepita, the flirty manipulation of her great-grandmother Victoria, the infamous eccentricity of her grandmother Vita Sackville-West, her mother’s Tory-conventional background. But then Juliet, a distinguished historian, started to question. As she did so, she sifted fact from fiction, uncovering details and secrets long held just out of sight. A House Full of Daughters takes us through seven generations of women. In the nineteenth-century slums of Malaga, the salons of fin-de-siecle Washington D.C., an English boarding school during the Second World War, Chelsea in the 1960s, the knife-edge that was New York City in the 1980s, these women emerge for Juliet as people in their own right, but also as part of who she is and where she has come from. A House Full of Daughters is one woman’s investigation into the nature of family, memory, and the past. As Juliet finds uncomfortable patterns reflected in these distant and more recent versions of herself, she realizes her challenge is to embrace the good and reject the hazards that have trapped past generations.
A cultural critic and author of Still She Haunts Me examines seven unconventional marriages among members of England's literary circles between 1910 and 1939--including Jane and H. G. Wells, Vera Brittain and George Gordon Catlin, and Vanessa and Clive Bell--examining crises that occurred in each marriage and how they were or were not resolved. Reprint. 45,000 first printing.
The unflinching and hopeful story of one woman's journey into family caregiving, and a vivid overview of the challenges of Alzheimer's care. With the passion of a committed daughter and the fervor of a tireless reporter, Martha Stettinius weaves this compelling story of caregiving for her demented mother with a broad exploration of the causes of Alzheimer's disease, means of treating it, and hopes for preventing it. She shares the lessons she's learned over seven years of caregiving at home, in assisted living, a rehabilitation center, a "memory care" facility for people living with dementia, and a nursing home--lessons not just about how to navigate the system, but how caregiving helped the author to grow closer to her mother, and to learn to nurture her mother's spirit through the most advanced stages of dementia.
This account of British life in the wake of World War I is “social history at its very best . . . insightful and utterly absorbing” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune). As the euphoria of Armistice Day in 1918 quickly subsided, there was no denying the carnage that the Great War had left in its wake. Grief and shock overwhelmed the psyche of the British people—but from their despair, new life would slowly emerge. For veterans with faces demolished in the trenches, surgeon Harold Gillies brings hope with his miraculous skin-grafting procedure. Women win the vote, skirt hems leap, and Brits forget their troubles at packed dance halls. And two years later, the remains of a nameless combatant would be laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey, as “The Great Silence,” observed in memory of the countless dead, halted citizens in silent reverence. This history of two transformative years in the life of a nation features countless characters, from an aging butler to a pair of newlyweds, from the Prince of Wales to T.E. Lawrence, the real-life Lawrence of Arabia. The Great Silence depicts a nation fighting the forces that threaten to tear it apart and discovering the common bonds that hold it together. “A pearl of anecdotal history, The Great Silence is a satisfying companion to major studies of World War I and its aftermath . . . as Nicolson proceeds through the familiar stages of grief—denial, anger and acceptance—she gives you a deeper understanding of not only this brief period, but also how war’s sacrifices don’t end after the fighting stops.” —The Seattle Times “It may make you cry.” —The Boston Globe
Interwoven accounts of the author's life and the life of her Russian-born mother, a leading Communist organizer in America, reveal a mother and daughter's attempts to make sense of one another's lives.
Vanessa Nicolson is the granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. She was born to an illustrious name and an unhappy marriage. Her father, the art historian Ben Nicolson, was homosexual and his marriage to Vanessa's Italian mother fell apart when Vanessa was very young. In this powerful and meditative memoir she chronicles her disjointed childhood and reckless youth, including holidays at Sissinghurst Castle with her cousins, and her experience of a liberal English boarding school. Interlinked with her story is that of her daughter Rosa, who died, aged 19. This book is a meditation on the threads of love and loss that weave through a life and an examination of the meaning of cultural privilege in the context of emotional deprivation.
Alice Keppel, the married lover of Queen Victoria's eldest son and great-grandmother to Camilla Parker-Bowles, was a key figure in Edwardian society. Hers was the acceptable face of adultery. Discretion was her hallmark. It was her art to be the king's mistress and yet to laud the Royal Family and the institution of marriage. Formidable and manipulative, her attentions to the king brought her wealth, power, and status. Her daughter Violet Trefusis had a long tempestuous affair with the author and aristocrat Vita Sackville-West, during which Vita left her husband and two sons to travel abroad with Violet. It was a liaison that threatened the fabric of Violet's social world, and her passion and recalcitrance in pursuit of it pitted her against her mother and society. From memoirs, diaries, and letters, Diana Souhami portrays this fascinating and intense mother/daughter relationship in Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter. Her story of these women, their lovers, and their lovers' mothers, highlights Edwardian - and contemporary - duplicity and double standards and goes to the heart of questions about sexual freedoms.

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