Bloomsbury's Outsider: A Life of David Garnett

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, May 21, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 622 pages
Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for best biography 2016
Book of the Year 2015 Sunday Times
Book of the Year 2015
Times Literary Supplement
Book of the Year 2015 Evening Standard

Book of the Year 2015 New Zealand Listener
Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2015

Literary Sensation, Lover, Libertine, Family Man

Award-winning novelist and towering figure of the 20th century British literary landscape, David Garnett was a Bloomsbury insider ultimately pushed to the margins. In this, the first biography of Garnett, (known as Bunny), author Sarah Knights – who has had unprecedented access to Garnett's papers – goes beyond stereotype and myth to present a clear sighted account of this often contradictory figure.

Trained as a scientist, Garnett worked as a novelist and wrote exquisite prose. Lady into Fox was made into a Rambert ballet and Aspects of Love into an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. In the First World War, he was a conscientious objector whereas in the Second he worked for British intelligence. A free love enthusiast, he nevertheless married. He loathed literary criticism but became a leading literary critic.

Born into the Victorian period, Garnett's life spanned two World Wars, the Swinging Sixties and beyond. From pre-Revolutionary Russia, by way of Indian Nationalists in London and carefree Neo-Paganism, Garnett's early life was packed with adventure. Propelled by a desire to be constantly in love, he dazzled men and women, believing the person mattered, irrespective of gender. An overnight literary sensation in the 1920s he was at the centre of literary London. Confidante and mentor of many writers, T. E. Lawrence, Rupert Brooke, D. H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells, were among his friends. Garnett felt most at home with the Bloomsbury Group, in particular with Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, his lover, with whom he lived during the First World War. Their long friendship was threatened, however, when Garnett's cradle-side prophecy to marry their daughter Angelica came true.

David 'Bunny' Garnett is brought to life by Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Jack Davenport in the BBC series 'Life in Squares'.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter
Chapter Three
Chapter Five
Chapter Seven
Chapter Nine
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter TwentyFour
Chapter TwentySix
Chapter TwentyEight
Chapter Thirty
Chapter ThirtyTwo
Chapter ThirtyFour
Chapter ThirtySix
Afterlife

Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter TwentyOne
Chapter TwentyThree
Acknowledgements
Footnotes
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Sarah Knights has an MA in Life Writing and a PhD from the celebrated School of Creative Writing and Literature at the University of East Anglia. She lives in north Norfolk. This is her first biography.

Bibliographic information