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Frances Partridge: The Biography
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Frances Partridge: The Biography (Hardback)

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Synopsis

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 haemorrhage. 'I have utterly lost heart: I want no more of this cruel life,' Frances was to write later.

However, she survived, indeed prospered, for another four decades, showing an astonishing appetite for life. Her diaries (which she continued to write until her death in 2004) 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 centre of her own.

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: literary Publisher: Orion Publishing Co Publication Date: 02/04/2009 ISBN-13: 9780297646730  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Anne Chisholm is the author of a biography of Nancy Cunard and FACES OF HIROSHIMA, a book about the Hiroshima Maidens. With Michael Davie she wrote BEAVERBROOK: A LIFE (1992). She was a close friend of Frances Partridge during the last years of her life. She reviews widely and is the current chairman of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in Belsize Park, London and Ewelme, Oxfordshire.

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