Mary's Library

Friday, November 17, 2006

Leonard Woolf

Victoria Glendinning's new biography of Leonard Woolf arrived yesterday and already I'm on page 110. (Brown's Zola is history. I didn't get to page 110 of that 888-page tome even after three weeks of reading.)

There are those who disparage Glendinning, especially some in the Trollope community who feel her work is not sufficiently serious. I on the other hand, find her treatment of Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell, Vita Sackville-West, Anthony Trollope, and now Woolf, to be approachable and the very opposite of tedious. So many biographers struggle to include in their books every detail they have dug up in their research. They may have needed to know the minutia of their subject's life but the reader does not. Anyone in need of that kind of detail should be reading primary sources and not biographies.

So here I am, sharing little Lennie's pleasure at a formal, written dinner invitation from his father, cycling to the Shetlands (I think there was a ferry ride involved), becoming an Apostle at Cambridge, and heading off as a Cadet to administer 10,000 square miles of Ceylon's hinterland.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home