Grey Wethers: A Romantic Novel

by V. Sackville-West

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Grey Wethers: A Romantic Novel by V. Sackville-West
“Grey Wethers by Vita Sackville-West is a mix of Middlemarch and Wuthering Heights crossed with Far From the Madding Crowd and A Room with a View and has some characters who would have fit nicely into Rebecca and Cold Comfort Farm… of the wild downs around the small town in which the daughter of a gentleman falls in love with a working man with a peculiar mother who never comes downstairs and a brother who is "simple" but wily. This love can't be allowed, so when an older gentleman (50-something) meets the girl (19) and wants to marry her, well . . . . – Marys Library

About the Author: “Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, (1892-1962), usually known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer. She was a successful novelist, poet, and journalist, as well as a prolific letter writer and diarist. She published more than a dozen collections of poetry during her lifetime and 13 novels. She was twice awarded the Hawthornden Prize for Imaginative Literature: in 1927 for her pastoral epic, The Land, and in 1933 for her Collected Poems. She was the inspiration for the androgynous protagonist of Orlando: A Biography, by her famous friend and lover, Virginia Woolf. She had a longstanding column in The Observer (1946-1961) and is remembered for the celebrated garden at Sissinghurst created with her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson.”

“Vita Sackville-West wrote prolifically and almost obsessively from her childhood in the early twentieth century. She began with poems, plays, and fiction about her family's romantic links to English history. As an adult she used these genres to describe or transform her own complicated love-life: lesbian relationships, triangular relationships, love between masculine women and feminine men. Her best-known poems, The Land and The Garden, create classically-descended georgic from the traditional labour of the Kentish countryside, and the related art of gardening. Many novels (some she called pot-boilers) use conventional style to delineate upper-class society, but she also made forays (first inspired by Virginia Woolf) into the experimental. She wrote history, biography, travel books, diaries, and letters. She was a popular and productive journalist, both in print and on the radio, whose topics included literature, gardening, and the status of women (though she refused the label of feminist). Her gardening writings and her actual gardens remain her best-known works. Her masterpiece, the Sissinghurst gardens, are the most-visited in Britain. – Orlando Cambridge

From the book: “MORE than half a century has now elapsed since the events which added a new legend to the hard ancient hills lying about Marlborough and King's Avon. The last organized rustic Scouring of the White Horse of King's Avon, — from which occasion these events may properly be said to date, although a believer in predestination might be found to contend that they dated, indeed, from the very births of Clare Warrener and Nicholas Lovel, — that last organized Scouring took place more than half a century ago. The White Horse remains, the same gaunt, hoary relic; King's Avon remains, secluded, tragic, rearing its great stones within the circle of its strange earthwork; the Downs remain, and every winter, now as then, shroud their secrets and the memory of their secrets beneath the same mantle of snow away from the speculation of the curious. But of Clare Warrener and Nicholas Lovel no trace remains, unless indeed they have passed into the wind and become incorporate with the intractable spaces and uncompromising heights. A great many tales are locally told of them, all too fantastic to be set down in print; the chalky soil, so unpropitious to other crops, grew at least a rich crop of superstition, especially in an age and district when stories of witches and burnings were curiously mi
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Grey Wethers: A Romantic Novel by V. Sackville-West