A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers

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Random House, Nov 4, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages

A Book of Secrets is a masterfully atmospheric treasure-trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements and family mysteries.

Acclaimed biographer Michael Holroyd peers into dusty corners to bring a company of unknown women into the light; Alice Keppel was the mistress of both the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales; Eve Fairfax was Lord Grimthorpe's abandoned fiancée and sometime muse of Auguste Rodin; and the novelist Violet Trefusis was the lover of Vita Sackville-West.

Taking the reader on a journey of discovery from Ravello to Paris, from Kirkstall Grange in Yorkshire to Vita Sackville-West's home at Knole, A Book of Secrets lucidly gives voice to fragile human connections.

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User Review  - lexmccall - LibraryThing

This is a very bizarre biography of sorts. It seemed like the author changed the goal of the book between the first chapter and the last, and I'm still not certain what it was to begin with. The ... Read full review

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User Review  - ChrisSterry - LibraryThing

I very much enjoyed the earlier part of this book, centring around the life and various loves of Ernest Beckett, 2nd Lord Grimthorpe. It was a glittering tangle of mysteries and infidelities. In these ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Besides the Lives of Augustus John, Bernard Shaw and Lytton Strachey (which was filmed as Carrington), Michael Holroyd has written two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. His most recent book, A Strange Eventful History, winner of the James Tait Black Prize, was a biography of two great theatrical dynasties which included Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, and her son Edward Gordon Craig. He has been president of the Royal Society of Literature and is the first non-fiction writer to have been awarded the British Literature Prize. He lives in London and Somerset with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.

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