A MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS: An Intimate Portrait of Leonard and Virginia Woolf by George & Ian Parsons Spater

A MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS: An Intimate Portrait of Leonard and Virginia Woolf

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Haven't you had enough?"" Perhaps not, for as Quentin Bell notes in his introduction--answering his own question--this compact study provides an authoritative portrait of the personalities and relationship of its two famous subjects. It should interest students of both, since it follows them from their origins to her death, supplying details not found in Bell's biography and correcting other details found in Leonard's autobiography, while suggesting reasons for their lives and works having unfolded as they did. Like his father, Leonard was ""intellectually intolerant,"" obstinate, and energetic, yet capable of great kindness and dry wit. Like her father, Virginia was afflicted by a morbidly sensitive nature, yet was playful and joyous most of the time. They came together through the gatherings of intellectuals that became Bloomsbury, whose critical spirit and internal conflicts the authors ably describe. And they were held together with mounting affection through years of hard work, frugality, chastity, and Virginia's mental instability by their differences of temperament as much as their similarities. She was always something of a child to those around her, delighting in ""mischievousness, frankness, fantasy, freshness"" and the ""love of small things""; and she was known to embellish every fact with imagination and above ali to need to be loved more than to love others. The strong and practical Leonard bestowed upon her all the love and care she required, asking little in return and appearing satisfied. ""It was,"" the authors conclude, ""a happy marriage""; although ""it could have been happier than it was."" Judicious--and with over 100 illustrations, beguiling.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1977
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich