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Showing posts from January, 2018

Book review: Deceived with Kindness

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By Angelica Garnett
Published by Pimlico

Synopsis: Angelica Garnett may truly be called a child of Bloomsbury. Her Aunt was Virginia Woolf, her mother Vanessa Bell, and her father Duncan Grant, though for many years Angelica believed herself, naturally enough, the daughter of Vanessa's husband Clive.

Her childhood homes, Charleston in Sussex and Gordon Square in London, were both centres of Bloomsbury activity, and she grew up surrounded by the most talked-about writers and artists of the day - Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, the Stracheys, Maynard Keynes, David Garnett (whom she later married), and many others.

But Deceived with Kindness is also a record of a young girl's particular struggle to achieve independence from that extraordinary and intense milieu as a mature and independent woman. With an honesty that is by degrees agonising and uplifting, the author creates a vibrant, poignant picture of her mother, Vanessa Bell, of her own emergent individuality, and of the …

Book review: Herland

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By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Published by Dover Thrift Editions

Synopsis: When three American men discover a community of women, living in perfect isolation in the Amazon, they decide there simply must be men somewhere. How could these women survive without man's knowledge, experience and strength, not to mention reproductive power? In fact, what they have found is a civilisation free from disease, poverty and the weight of tradition. All alone, the women have created a society of calm and prosperity, a feminist utopia that dares to threaten the very concept of male superiority.

How did this book end up in my hands? A friend of mine had recommended it to me as a ‘must read’ for any self-respecting feminist and I followed her advice.

Was it a page-turner? Not for me. I found myself wanting to pick up the book purely because I hoped that the interesting part might be just around the page! Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? Not entirely. The synopsis is accurate b…