Vita Sackville-West: Selected Writings by Vita Sackville-West edited by Mary Ann Caws, with a forward by Nigel Nicholson is a comprehensive look at the writings of Vita Sackville-West. Sackville-West is known in different ways by different people. Many know her as Virginia Woolf’s lover. Others despise that description and praise her gardening skills. She was also a poet and novelist, of some worth, and an essayist and critic.
Caws takes selections of Sackville-West’s writings and provides a detailed introduction to the selection as well as background on Sackville-West’s role in the writing — her life experience and many times her role as a novel character as well as people she knew who were added to the novel. As she wrote as a disclaimer in The Edwardians, “No character in this book is wholly fictitious.” In reading Sackville-West’s fiction one can easily where her travel experiences fit in as well as her personal relationships.
Sackville-West offered readers a wide variety of writing and writing styles. However, much of her work is difficult to find. Her fiction is a bit hard to find in America and when found it is usually first or second US editions in delicate shape or cracked yellowed paperbacks. Caws will give the reader a taste of what is hard to find and a desire to track down what can be found.