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Frances Partridge

The Biography

written by Anne Chisholm

Orion Publishing | ISBN 9780297646730

Hardback – 416 pages


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Frances Partridge was one of the great British diarists of the 20th century. She was born 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, Frances worked in Francis Birrell and Bunny Garnett's bookshop in London. She soon became part of the Bloomsbury group encountering Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, the Bells, Roger Fry, Maynard Keynes, Dora Carrington and Ralph Partridge. She and Ralph fell in love and married in 1933. During the Second World War they were committed pacifists and opened their house, Ham Spray, to numerous waifs and strays of war. After it was over they enjoyed the happiest times of their lives together, entertaining friends such as E.M. Forster, Robert Kee, and Duncan Grant. Frances' life changed abruptly with two sudden and unexpected deaths. Ralph had a heart attack in 1960 and three years later their only son, Burgo, died aged 28 from a brain hemorrhage. However, she survived—indeed, prospered—for another four decades, showing an astonishing appetite for life. Her diaries chronicle her life from the 1930s onwards. Their publication brought her recognition and acclaim, and earned her the right to be seen not as a minor character on the Bloomsbury stage but standing at the center of her own.

Artist: Bloomsbury Group

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