Vanessa Bell was a central figure within the Bloomsbury Group
and lent to it a stability and coherence it might otherwise have
lacked. A talented artist, she held sway with her acuity, integrity
and a sense of humour. Yet she remained inscrutable, glimpses
of her life only appearing through her sister, Virginia Woolf. In this authorised biography, Frances Spalding draws upon a
mass of unpublished documents to reveal Vanessa Bell’s considerable
achievements, in both her art and her increasingly unorthodox
life. A sympathetic account is given of her marriage to
Clive Bell, her affair with Roger Fry and the complex nature of
her lasting relationship with Duncan Grant. It is a fitting tribute
to a woman of great paradox, wit and honesty.
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Frances Spalding read art history at the University of Nottingham and lectured on the subject for ten years before becoming a freelance art historian and biographer. She is currently editor of the Charleston Magazine.Review:
Vanessa Bell emerges from Frances Spalding's sensitive and scholarly biography as an unexpectedly formidable figure...the central portrait is full and generous and it rings wonderfully true.(The London Times 2016-03-17)
...a compelling life, one worth telling, unusual in its social and intellectual contrasts, formidable in its cast of characters, poignant in its alternations of happiness and despair.(Spectator 2016-03-17)
"...an excellent biography: it could hardly be bettered... she has brought Vanessa Bell back to life...As a chronicle of human entanglements, and of the ways in which they were resolved, it wil have an enduring fascination...Vanessa Bell adds a new and indispensable dimension to our knowledge of Bloomsbury, and it is very much to be welcomed."(Times Literary Supplement 2016-03-17)
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