By Michael Holroyd

ISBN-10: 1429969210

ISBN-13: 9781429969215

A Time Magazine best 10 Nonfiction e-book of 2011A Publishers Weekly top Nonfiction identify for 2011On a hill above the Italian village of Ravello sits the Villa Cimbrone, a spot of fable and make-believe. The characters that go through Michael Holroyd's new ebook are destined by no means to fulfill, but the Villa Cimbrone unites them all.A publication of secrets and techniques is a treasure trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements, and kin mysteries. With grace and smooth mind's eye, Holroyd brings a firm of unknown ladies into the sunshine. From Alice Keppel, the mistress of either the second one Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales; to Eve Fairfax, a muse of Auguste Rodin; to the novelist Violet Trefusis, the sweetheart of Vita Sackville-West'these ladies are consistently at the outer edge of the first rate world.Also at the margins is the elusive biographer, who every now and then turns an appraising eye upon himself as a part of his investigations within the maze of biography. In A publication of Secrets, Holroyd offers voice to fragile human connections and the secret of position.

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Sample text

DR JOHNSON, Rasselas, 1759 All we really want is otherness, tossing from side to side, and greeting every toss with shouts of welcome, and of contempt for the previous toss. BERNARD BERENSON, diary, 1954 Much will have more. EMERSON, Society and Solitude, 1870 The things we are best acquainted with are often the things we lack. This is because we have spent so much time thinking of them. GERALD BRENAN, Thoughts in a Dry Season, 1978 An aspiration is a joy for ever, a possession as solid as a landed estate.

For in truth we who are creatures of impulse arc not creatures of despair. JOSEPH CONRAD, Chance, 1913 We are never present with, but always beyond ourselves: fear, desire, hope, still push us on towards the future. MONTAICNE, 'That our affections carry themselves beyond us', Essays, 1 58o-8 The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking. DR JOHNSON, The Rambler, 175o-2 At times, our strengths propel us so far forward we can no longer endure our weaknesses and perish from them.

KEATS, letter, 1819 So manifold are our interests in life that is not uncommon, on the self-same occasion, for the foundations of a happiness which does not yet exist to be laid down simultaneously with the aggravation of a grief from which we are still suffering. MARCEL PROUST, Remembrance of Things Past (Swann's Way, 1913) Things in our life simply don't go according to set decisions. One glides into a new epoch, and the so-called 'decision' is as a rule only the final summing-up of items long since entered into the ledger by life itself.

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A Book of Secrets by Michael Holroyd


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