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{Read Epub} ô All Passion Spent ⚫ In , as a young girl of , Lady Slane nurtures a secret, burning ambition to become an artist She becomes, instead, the wife of a great statesman and the mother of six children Seventy years later, released by widowhood, and to the dismay of her pompous children, she abandons the family home for a tiny house in Hampstead Here she recollects the dreams of youth, and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions Genoux, her French maid Mr Bucktrout, her house agent and a coffin maker who pictures people dead in order to reveal their true characters And then there s Mr FitzGeorge, an eccentric millionaire who met and loved her in India when she was young and very lovely It is here in this world of her own that she finds a passion that comes only with the freedom to choose, and it is this, her greatest gift, that she passes on to the only one who can understand its value First published in , Vita Sackville West s masterpiece is the fictional companion to her great friend Virginia Woolf sA Room of One s Own Missing You, Love Sara as a young girl of Dose De Prazer (Os Irmãos OSullivan, Lady Slane nurtures a secret Roughneck Cowboy (Cartwright Siblings, burning ambition to become an artist She becomes Land of Golden Wattle instead Criminal Behavior (Twilights Children the wife of a great statesman and the mother of six children Seventy years later Dynamite Doc or Christmas Dad? released by widowhood Reunion on the Run and to the dismay of her pompous children Overtime in the Bosss Bed she abandons the family home for a tiny house in Hampstead Here she recollects the dreams of youth Marrying Miss Monkton and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions Genoux Countdown to Danger her French maid Mr Bucktrout Let Me Call You Sweetheart her house agent and a coffin maker who pictures people dead in order to reveal their true characters And then there s Mr FitzGeorge The Chopin Manuscript an eccentric millionaire who met and loved her in India when she was young and very lovely It is here in this world of her own that she finds a passion that comes only with the freedom to choose The Cowboy is a Daddy and it is this Everybody Loves Evie (Chameleon Chronicles, her greatest gift A Baby Between Them (Harlequin Intrigue that she passes on to the only one who can understand its value First published in Spellbound Vita Sackville West s masterpiece is the fictional companion to her great friend Virginia Woolf sA Room of One s Own Fair Spouse says I am not allowed to while away anytime writing reviews on Goodreads until I tell you about this wise, gentle, funny feminist classic written in 1931 by Vita Sackville West Yes, I said Sackville West and feminist in the same sentence The audiobook performance by Wendy Hiller is my favorite of all time I listened to it again about a year ago, on a trip across the country, and I resented having to get out of my car The book reads like music Hiller reads it like she s Fair Spouse says I am not allowed to while away anytime writing reviews on Goodreads until I tell you about this wise, gentle, funny feminist classic written in 1931 by Vita Sackville West Yes, I said Sackville West and feminist in the same sentence The audiobook performance by Wendy Hiller is my favorite of all time I listened to it again about a year ago, on a trip across the country, and I resented having to get out of my car The book reads like music Hiller reads it like she s singing an aria.Born in the 1860s, Deborah Slane spent most of her life in the company of the upper classes She also spent it as the wife of a Viceroy, doing her duty Now it s time for fun only don t go telling her six uptight children, sexagenarians and septagenarians themselves, all bent on coddling or controlling her, each in the style dictated by his or her temperament Lady Slane rethinks her life and decides to take drastic action which is very funny to live out her days the way she wants and with whom she wishes.Funny scenes sharp, witty writing when called for eccentric and lovable characters marvelous atmosphere including gorgeous scenes of contemplation and memory painted in light and fragrance real ideas and a few surprises This is some of Vita Sackville West s warmest, most humane writing and I include her gardening letters in my assessment It expresses her outlook and views on most things especially on marriage with economy, clarity and relaxed style Lady Slane is the author s dream partner, as a character, in philosophic enquiry.Any novel about old age, money grubbing adult children and a beautiful, artistic woman over eighty risks cloying sentimentality on the one end, horrifying bad taste on the other This one avoids both ends of the spectrum In many ways it s a perfect book, often dismissed as a minor novel compared with, say, To The Lightouse by Virginia Woolf This is better than To the Lighthouse, and it competes well with Mrs Dalloway, the book that infuses this one Is that a sacrilege Well I think it s true Sackville West s feminism in All Passion Spent is clearer than anything comparable by Woolf I feel thisstrongly every time I re read this very re readable book If you like dreamy novels to mull over, chapter by chapter, on your walk or in the bath, this book will win your heart Little old lady tries, at last, to make her own life after a lifetime of looking after other people s interests and especially her children One wonders exactly how much looking after does the Vicereine of India do when she doesn t even hang up her own clothes or make a cup of tea She is once described as arranging flowers though onerous duties indeed So here we have a deluded, very wealthy old bat who buys a house in Hampstead and has only one servant in order that she may fulfil her chil Little old lady tries, at last, to make her own life after a lifetime of looking after other people s interests and especially her children One wonders exactly how much looking after does the Vicereine of India do when she doesn t even hang up her own clothes or make a cup of tea She is once described as arranging flowers though onerous duties indeed So here we have a deluded, very wealthy old bat who buys a house in Hampstead and has only one servant in order that she may fulfil her childhood ambition of being an artist, although she s never even produced a drawing and never will She is courted by a very wealthy old man who once fell in love with her when she was arranging flowers who pops off leaving her his priceless collection of gewgaws instead of the museums and art galleries who are panting for such marvelous freebies to own for themselves.So what does she do, well she gives away all the money and art collections not because she is a charitable and civic minded old lady near the end of her life, who doesn t need funds anyway, no, she does it because she is a real bitch, no matter how softly spoken, so she can dispossess her rapacious children.Eventually, persuaded by the maid and her lawyer, she does feel guilty about doing such a thing, but there you go, the wages of sin and all that Eventually she pops off too and that s that.Good read, well written, set in a time and by an author who could not imagine anything much outside her realm of extreme privilege and where poor was only being able to afford a tiny house in a very posh area with only one servant Thus was the lack of imagination of the entire entitled Bloomsbury Set Rewritten 19 Feb 2017 Geoffrey Scott, one of the many people who fell in love with Vita Sackville West over the course of her life, said that there was an indefinable something about her writing that raised above what it otherwise might have been Although he turned out to be a little crazy that s a whole other story , I can t help but think that he was right about that I certainly felt that way about All Passion Spent.Many people are not able to resist the powerful temptation to compare this work to Mrs Dallowa Geoffrey Scott, one of the many people who fell in love with Vita Sackville West over the course of her life, said that there was an indefinable something about her writing that raised above what it otherwise might have been Although he turned out to be a little crazy that s a whole other story , I can t help but think that he was right about that I certainly felt that way about All Passion Spent.Many people are not able to resist the powerful temptation to compare this work to Mrs Dalloway It is understandable both books are about an older upper class women looking back over her life, and the two authors had a love affair that began about the time Mrs Dalloway was published, and essentially ended about the time Passion came out the plots and themes of the two books even make for a really fitting metaphor about their relationship and the different conclusions that can come out of looking back and taking stock I was tempted by that road myself.But as the story went on, I really decided it would be a huge disservice to simply dismiss it as a lesser Dalloway It isn t a lesser anything, and Sackville West isn t indebted to anyone or anything but her own experiences for the story on the page The closest I can come to defining the appeal of Vita s writing or what I ve read of it so far is that it speaks to me in a voice I can easily understand, a voice I feel I ve heard inside my own head, describing my own feelings but without ever descending to the middle brow commonplaces found in so much domestic focused literature Put it better, she says things how I would like to have said them at the time observing obvious things it took me years to figure out how to articulate Her truths may be easily recognized, but they are also very poetic One of my favorite passages describes the main character, Lady Slane, driving through India with her Viceroy husband, who is describing to her the various social problems she is to address with the ladies she s about to meet While he s doing this, she is watching some butterflies outside the window and thinking instead aboutmoving into a cloud of butterflies which were her own irreverent, irrelevant thoughts, darting and dancing, but altering the pace of the progresion not by one tittle never brushing the carriage with their wings flickering always and evading sometimes rushing on ahead, but returning again to tease and to show off, having an independent and lovely lifeuntil she is recalled to her undoubtedly important duties by her husband and has to leave her ephermeral world behind It s touching to read this knowing that Vita must have been writing this partially to her husband Harold, who worked for the Foreign Office perhaps an explanation as to why she could never simply follow him around the world going to tea with other diplomats wives He eventually quit the diplomatic service for her, actually Had he stayed, this could have been her future she was always afraid of any part of her life swallowing her up, especially her marriage This is the book where she tells you why.Lady Slane is in her late eighties Her husband has just died, her children are elderly themselves, and there are scores of grandchildren and great grandchildren Lord Slane was a greatly respected public figure, she was considered the perfect wife She never really got a story of her own, having married so young when her husband dies, her children try to go on making decisions for her, and she suddenly informs them, essentially, that she is not the person that they ve taken her for their entire lives No, thank you, she is going to live out her last years exactly as she pleases, and she is going to arrange it entirely for herself.They took her for dumb, you see, because she was so often silent, so subservient to their father s every whim Silly Mother, they said, can t handle anything very real As Lady Slane herself thinks many times throughout the story, no one ever asked her what she thought, or thought that she might have an entirely different self on the inside than the one she was obliged to present to the world There s a wonderful passage about the house she acquires to live in, speaking of the need for privacy in order to maintain any part of one s self in a world that wants to take so much from youit was a very private thing, a house, private with a privacy irrespective of bolts and bars And if this superstition seemed irrational, one might reply that man himself was but a collection of atoms, even as a house was but a collection of bricks, yet man laid claim to a soul, to a spirit, to a power of recording and perception I really loved VSW s excellent treatment of the idea that people have many selves, many of which are private, some of which are easily misunderstood when only partially seen in the real world, or mistakenly slipped out in conversation For instance I adored the character of Edith, the youngest daughter of the family She is given the first chapter, and we see how perceptive she is, what a delightful perspective she has on life However, she can only get things out of her mouth sideways, voicing thoughts out loud without the accompanying train of thought that got her there so she s only seen as rude, stupid, or unfeeling It s a fascinating and a terribly sad idea that it is two worlds meeting that were never meant to is what gets you in trouble that s the only way to keep it intact Lady Slane also expresses this idea beautifully She s talking about the idea that love or relationships are indeed worthwhile and often make up for individual expression, and yetWho was she, the I that had loved And Henry, who and what was he Hidden away under the symbol of their coporeality, both in him and in her, doubtless lurked something which was themselves, but that self was hard to get at obscured by the too familiar trappings of voice, name, appearance, occupation, circumstance, even the fleeting perception of self became blunted or confused And there were many selves Do you see what I mean about taking a fairly basic truth and making it seem fresh again and yet, not hiding it behind any real tricks or disguising it behind images She says what she means, but with such a keen observation that it becomesthan every day I mean, what a wonderful thought the above is It might boil down to what we ve all heard about loving yourself first before loving anyone else, but there s somethingthere that indefinable something This is without a doubt a feminist novel an argument for the voices and lives of women being allowed to matter, not being expected to give way to men But I think it s also a general argument for anyone being allowed to make their own choice not the choice dictated to them by the thousand little circumstances of class, gender, family, which parties one attended It isn t just Lady Slane who has made compromises, been affected by her life we see her recluse possible other life love and the choices he made, her landlord, her agent.By the by, speaking of other people It really is a novel populated by great characters Edith, Genoux the maid, oh, ps, if you don t speak French there are many lines of untranslated French spoken by this character you can get by without it, but just so you know , the agent, her sons, her horrid daughter Carrie they re all recognizable and living in some way I will say here that one of the things that might bother some people about the novel is its concentration on rich, white lady problems Vita herself brings that up when Lady Slane hears Genoux s story, for the first time in the sixty years she s been with the woman she never asked In 1930, it was hard not to be conscious that there were much bigger problems with the world I kind of almost wish she hadn t brought it up, though Which sounds awful, but she only brings it up at the very end, and you can tell that it s in sort of a guilty way, like someone had just said to her, I wish I had had these problems and she felt bad I wish she had either brought it up much earlier to weave it into her tale or left it out entirely so we could journey with Lady Slane and not worry that we really should be reading someone else s story I don t know That bothered me.It is a regretful novel to a certain extent, and perhaps even a novel that could be taken to be making an argument for a withdrawl from life Lady Slane does spend an awful lot of time regretting the time and self that other people took from her over the course of her life, with not much acknowledgement of the fact that she s lived what many other people would consider to be a very full life in many respects VSW s answer to that is thisand she thought, if only I were young once , I would stand for all that was calm and contemplative, opposed to the active, the scheming the striving the false yes, the false, she exclaimed and then trying to correct herself, she wondered whether this were not merely a negative creed, a negation of life, perhaps even a confession of insufficient vitality and came to the conclusion that it was not so for in contemplation and also in the pursuit of the one chosen avocation which she had had to renounce she could pierce a to a happier life than her children who reckoned things by their results and activities I also struggle with whether I think this is merely a negative creed, and how much one could miss out on following these ideas but honestly I think VSW struggled with this herself As she wrote this book she herself was falling in love again and embarking on yet another ill advised torrid affair striving, active, needing, desiring What is worthDifficult to say.But either way, this novel is about a woman who ultimately does get the chance to come back to herself before the end, which she does in a splendid and engaging fashion I don t know about you, but I think that is a triumphant, hopeful ending.Look, I m not saying this novel is genius or anything, it certainly has its problems, the magic is certainly quieter than the great novels of this era, and I ll even admit that there s a certain amount of read this at the right time in my opinion of it But it is a novel will speak to many people for many different reasons, and for that, it deserves to bewidely read than it is now She wondered which wounds went deeper the jagged wounds of reality, or the profound invisible bruises of the imagination Vita Sackville West, All Passion SpentI loved this book, one of the best novels I ve read so far this year Former Vicereine, Lady Deborah Slane, is not your typical protagonist She is 88 years old and is recently widowed after a marriage of 70 years Lady Slane decides to live the independent life she had always dreamed of, much to the chagrin of her snobby children S She wondered which wounds went deeper the jagged wounds of reality, or the profound invisible bruises of the imagination Vita Sackville West, All Passion SpentI loved this book, one of the best novels I ve read so far this year Former Vicereine, Lady Deborah Slane, is not your typical protagonist She is 88 years old and is recently widowed after a marriage of 70 years Lady Slane decides to live the independent life she had always dreamed of, much to the chagrin of her snobby children She moves to a small cottage far from her children and thinks back on her youth, marriage, life as a political hostess, and motherhood.Despite all the wealth and opulence in her life, her children and her dutiful husband, Lady Slane s life hadn t truly been happy Her musings show that the things society often says are good for women may not actually be so in reality, and that many women often have to hide their true desires, and have had their youthful desires dashed or pushed to the side Youth is full of hopes reaching out, youth will burn the river and set all the belfries of the world ringing there is not only love to be considered, there are also such things as fame and achievement and genius which might be in one s heart, knocking against one s ribs, who knows The language in this book was so beautiful and philosophical I probably have very little in common with Lady Slane, being from a different ethnicity, era, and class yet I was able to put myself in her shoes It was quite the experience.It was a contemplative novel and there was a lot of wisdom in the pages Nothing earns respect so quickly as letting your fellows see that you are a match for them Other methods may earn you respect in the long run, but fir a short cut there is nothing like setting a high valuation on yourself and forcing others to accept it Modesty, moderation, consideration, nicety no good they don t pay This was a good book to read on International Women s Day Because of its content, it made me dwell on what it must feel like for a woman having to sacrifice her dreams for a husband and motherhood Perhaps not so common in the West nowadays, but in many other parts of the world this is still the case Women getting forced into a certain role when perhaps they aren t ready, or they are interested in pursuing a different path is tragic.Recommended to fans of Elizabeth Von Armin