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A Book of Secrets

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A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers

Michael Holroyd's collection of biographical sketches (probably his last biography) is a delightful look at an odd assortment of interesting women connected by the Italian village of Rovello, who never meet. This group includes Alice Keppel, mistress of the Prince of Wales, Eve Fairfax, Auguste Rodin's muse, and Violet Trefusis, Vita Sackville-West's lover. The chapter "Women in Love" is a nice look at women orbiting at the distant edge of the Bloomsbury Group. Tefusis and Sackville-West are one of the most interesting lesbian couples of that age.

Holroyd is among the best biographers of the late twentieth century. Although illness has slowed his production, this book shines.

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