This meticulously researched and compassionately rendered portrait of Leonard Woolf, the “dark star” of Bloomsbury, is the first to capture his troubled relationship with his wife, his own intellect, and the tumultuous world of artists and eccentrics around him. A man of extremes, Woolf was by turns ferocious and tender, violent and repressed, opinionated and nonjudgmental, always an outsider of sorts within the exceptionally intimate, fractious, and sometimes vicious society of brilliant but troubled friends and lovers. In telling Woolf’s story, Victoria Glendinning traces the development of the Bloomsbury circle, bringing to life the group’s literary and personal discussions. She also provides an unprecedented account of Woolf’s marriage to the legendary Virginia, revealing his undying creative and emotional support for her amid her numerous breakdowns. Leonard Woolf is a perceptive and lively biography of a man whose far–reaching influence is long overdue the full appreciation Glendinning provides.
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Victoria Glendinning is an award-winning biographer, critic, broadcaster, and novelist. Educated at Oxford where she studied modern languages, she later worked for The Times Literary Supplement. She is an Honorary Vice-President of English PEN and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature. Her acclaimed biographies include Elizabeth Bowen: Portrait of a Writer and Edith Sitwell: A Unicorn Among Lions, which won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography, and Rebecca West: A Life.
- "The Guardian"
" Leonard Woolf is one of the great unsung heroes of the 20th century. . . . It needed a biography as compelling as this to bring out Woolf's full stature. Many will rate this as Glendinning's finest biography, for there is not a page that does not contain something of interest or surprise." "
- The Independent"
Praise for Victoria Glendinning:
" What each of us would look for in an ideal future biographer is what each of us looks for in an ideal doctor:
sympathy, trustfulness and acute powers of diagnosis. All these three qualities are here."
-- "Sunday Telegraph"
" The story is so rich and sweet, so beautifully told, that it manages to catch our attention . . . as a ballad sung once more."
-- "New York Times"
" Full of intelligent observation and comment, of deft touches, of revealing moments and admirable
-- "The Scotsman"
"From the Hardcover edition."