I recently read, and loved, A House Full of Daughters by Juliet Nicolson, a book which begins with her great-great grandmother, the Spanish dancer Pepita, and ends with Juliet’s own granddaughters. It covers seven generations. I knew a lot about some of them from various biographies, but found it fascinating to follow the family through the female line, seeing how the troubles of one woman impacted on the next generation.
With that book fresh in my mind, I was delighted to learn that a biopic is being made about Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Starring Eva Green as Virginia and Gemma Arterton as Vita, the film will focus on the relationship between the two writers at the time Woolf wrote Orlando, which Vita’s son Nigel has called “the longest and most charming love letter in literature” (I personally do not agree about the ‘charming’ part – I am not a fan of Orlando). The script is based on the stage play written by Eileen Atkins.
And on the topic of films about the lives of authors, did you know that a film has been made about Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was only 18? The film stars Elle Fanning as Mary, and Douglas Booth as her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is based on an original screenplay by Australian writer Emma Jensen. The movie is due to be released this year.
Susannah Fullerton: Have you ever heard of the Charleston plates?
Susannah Fullerton: The Nicolson family
Susannah Fullerton: Vita Sackville-West: Novelist, Poet and Creator of Sissinghurst
Susannah Fullerton: Vita Sackville-West is born
A House Full of Daughters by Juliet Nicolson
Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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