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Followers of Bloomsbury may rejoice: David Garnett's third volume of autobiography is just as absorbing, entertaining, and beautifully written as the previous two, even though, when he approaches the present, he must be more circumspect. This book, together with its predecessors, The Golden and Flowers of the Forest, is probably the most comprehensive memoir yet published of the English literary generation that flourished between the wars. Garnett was a younger contemporary of Virginia Woolf (he later married her niece, Augelica Bell, after the death of his first wife, with which this volume sadly ends). He Know them all the Woolfs, Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell --and many other literary and intellectual figures whose names are less well known, but whom he evokes with the same skill and interest that attaches to his portraits of the renowned. For this book remains Garnett's own personal memoir: it never degenerates into a catalogue of people he knew. He chooses to speak of his life in terms of the friendships that meant most to him, but often enough they are people who have sunk without a trace -- several of them died young, or committed suicide. This volume begins about 1922, and takes us up to 1940: It covers Garnett's years of association with the Nonesuch Press, and the period when he was Literary Editor for the New Statesman. The author hints that this volume may be his last, but we hope not.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1962
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World