Is there a more interesting character than Vita Sackville-West? Pictured here, smoking a cigarette with her dog in the garden of her estate, Sissinghurst.
A prolific author, a famed garden designer, a sexual conquistadora, a smoker, a Lady. So much subversion in one character. Vita seems (to me anyway) to be such a embodiment of pre-War aristocracy, while also being a symptom to its rigors. She was the inspiration for Woolf’s Orlando.
She’s appeared peripherally in the current book I’m reading (Serious Pleasures, a biography on Stephen Tennant by Philip Hoare), but I may just have to go to the library today to find a book where she’s the star.