Phoenix: Frances Partridge Diaries 1939-1972 By Frances Partridge

Not easy, but worthwhile. Slightly deluded woman (with regards to her own situation and status) surrounded by objectionable people who really are all privileged and closeted. Having said that it was illuminating and fairly readable. Frances Partridge The life of a member of the Bloomsbury set in England from world war II to 1972. Well traveled, educated and intelligent she shares her upper class life and some of her heartache. Frances Partridge

Now recognised as one of the great British diarists of the century, Partridge was born in Bedford Square, Bloomsbury in 1900, the daughter of a progressive mother and architect father whose friends included Henry James and Arthur Conan Doyle. After studying Moral Sciences and English at Cambridge, she worked in Heywood Hill's Curzon Street bookshop and became part of the Bloomsbury Group, meeting Woolf, the Bells, Roger Fry and Keynes. She met and fell in love with Ralph Partridge who was at the time married to Dora Carrington. After the death of Lytton Strachey, with whom she was in love, Carrington committed suicide. Ralph and Frances married in 1933. During the war they were both committed pacifists and opened their house, Ham Spray, to numerous waifs and strays of war. After it was over they enjoyed the happiest time of their life together, entertaining friends such as E M Forster, Robert Kee and Duncan Grant. This life of great warmth and friendship ended abruptly when Ralph died in 1960. Three years later another tragedy struck when their only son, Burgo, died at the age of 28 from a brain haemorrhage. 'I have utterly lost heart: I want no more of this cruel life, ' Frances w Phoenix: Frances Partridge Diaries 1939-1972


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