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Behind the Mask
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About the Author

Matthew Dennison is the author of seven critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including 'Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West', a Book of the Year in The Times, Spectator, Independent and Observer. His most recent book is 'Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter'. He is a contributor to Country Life and Telegraph.

Reviews

BOOK OF THE YEAR as chosen by:

The Times
Independent
Observer

'Dennison captures both Vita's irresistible charm and her selfishness. Like his subject, he is a natural storyteller, and his impeccable scholarship never weighs down his lively narrative' Independent

'Brave man to take on the biography of Vita, and he has brought it off superbly ... It studies and reveals this extraordinary woman as well as could possibly be. A fine achievement' Spectator, Susan Hill

'Astute and engaging, Dennison looks again at Vita's extraordinary life and makes a new sort of sense of it ... fascinating ... an insightful book. The connections between Vita's childhood, her dispossessions, her sexuality and her writing are compellingly explored. Vita emerges as a complex and interesting character, and far more than a gay icon' Literary Review

'Dennison emphasises the desire for solitude that existed in tension with her joyous sensuality and need for love' Guardian

'Detailed and fascinating ... Dennison shows true admiration for his latest subject ... freshly chronicled here for the first time in more than 30 years' Daily Express

'Intimate ... A splendid biography of a splendid character' The Lady

'This astute and engaging book looks again at Vita's extraordinary life and makes a new sort of sense of it ... Fascinating ... Insightful ... The connections between Vita's childhood, her dispossession, her sexuality and her writing are compellingly explored. Vita emerges as a complex and interesting character, and far more than a gay icon' Literary Review

'Comprehensively documents her literary ... with evocative portraits of her husband [and lovers] ... Dennison's Vita is convincingly ambivalent and inflammatory, a product of her age' New Statesman

'This carefully researched book is intelligently and elegantly written ... balanced, oratical and confident' Spectator

'Brilliant ... thorough and engaging' Daily Mail

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