Vita Sackville-West The Love That Cannot be Spoken

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women, has written a new blog post on the life and career of writer Vita Sackville-West.

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Born in Knole, Kent, in 1892, Victoria Mary Sackville is best remembered now as the subject of Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel (which was made into a critically acclaimed film, with the lead character played by the amazing and award-winning actress Tilda Swinton) about their love affair, told through the adventures of an androgynous and aristocratic heroine. Her father was the third Baron Sackville, and as a child, Vita was afforded the very finest private education and tutors in her ancestral home, which was surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds. Her interest in writing began as a young girl with poetry, and she completed a history of her family and place, Knole and the Sackville, in 1922. She married diplomat and journalist Harold Nicolson, and they traveled extensively, resulting in her Passenger to Teheran and her travel fictions, Heritage and The Dark Island. Vita Sackville-West also wrote several fine biographies of Andrew Marvell, Aphra Behn, and of the saints Joan and Teresa of Avila. She became the subject of another book when her son Nigel Nicolson described his parents’ unusual marriage in Portrait of a Marriage.


Why We Love Pirates

The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever

Crime and punishment. During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd’s name was well known in England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. Rebecca Simon dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, followed by a massive British-led hunt for all pirates during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only increased the popularity of pirates. And, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks; pirates tended to be protected from capture.