Alvilde Lees-Milne (née Bridges; formerly Viscountess Chaplin) (born London 13 August 1909; - died Badminton, Avon 18 March 1994) was a British gardening and landscape expert.
Born in 1909, she was the daughter of the Governor of South Australia (1922-27) Lt.-Gen. Sir (George) Tom Molesworth Bridges by his wife Janet Florence Menzies, and was the great-niece of the poet laureate (1913-30), Robert Bridges.
She met James Lees-Milne, who became her second husband, during World War II while she was engaged in an affair with the arts patron Winnaretta de Polignac. By 1949 they were in love, but from the outset the relationship was not without complications. She had been married since 1933 to Anthony Freskin Charles Hamby Chaplin, who would in 1949 become the 3rd Viscount Chaplin, and had one daughter, (Oenone) Clarissa, born in 1934. At one point the Chaplins, Lees-Milne, and Anthony Chaplin's girlfriend Hon. Rosemary Lyttelton all lived in the same house. Lord and Lady Chaplin divorced in 1950, whereupon the viscount married Rosemary Lyttleton (by whom he later had two daughters).
She and Lees-Milne were candid with each other about their true sexual nature, and they did not generally hide their affairs from one another. During the 1930s James Lees-Milne had been the lover of Harold Nicolson, husband of the writer Vita Sackville-West who was herself noted for her high-profile lesbian affairs. Both Harold and Vita acted as witnesses at the Lees-Milnes' wedding (also present was James' former lover the composer Lennox Berkeley and Berkeley's wife Freda). Vita Sackville-West's former lover Violet Trefusis had been the long-term lover of Princess de Polignac, and in turn in the 1950s Sackville-West became involved in a love affair with Alvilde Lees-Milne (who tried to conceal the fact from her husband).Photograph of Ralph Jarvis, Randolph Spencer Churchill, Diana Mitford, Tom Mitford, Diana Spencer Churchill, and James Lees-Milne, 1927, From: James Lees-Milne papers, 1907-1997, Beinecke Library, Object ID: 2007219
Alvilde Chaplin was a British gardening and landscape expert. She met James Lees-Milne, who became her second husband, during WW II, while she was involved with Winnaretta Singer, who died in 1943, and married to Anthony Freskin Charles Hamby Chaplin, 3rd Viscount Chaplin. Lees-Milne had loved Tom Mitford at Eton, and was devastated when Tom was killed in action in Burma in 1945. Lord and Lady Chaplin divorced in 1950, whereupon the viscount married Rosemary Lyttleton. During the 1930s, Lees-Milne was involved in an affair with Harold Nicolson, the husband of the writer Vita Sackville-West, who, in the 1950s became involved with Alvilde.
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Evelyn Graham Irons (June 17, 1900 – April 3, 2000) was a Scottish journalist, the first woman war correspondent to be decorated with the French Croix de Guerre.
Irons's relationship with the writer Vita Sackville-West was well-known - months before her death, an Evening Standard headline identified her as the "war correspondent who broke Vita's heart" - but the romance was brief.
According to biographer Victoria Glendinning, in 1931 Irons went as editor of the Daily Mail women's page to interview Sackville-West at Sissinghurst where she was designing and shaping the famous gardens. Sackville-West was married to Harold Nicolson ( and had already had several extra marital including Violet Trefusis ), while Irons was involved with Olive Rinder. As if this were not complex enough, Rinder also became a lover of Sackville-West, forming a menage a trois during 1932 that ended when Irons met a fellow journalist, Joy McSweeney.
Sackville-West's 1931 love poems are addressed to Irons, though the "more erotic ones" were never published. Irons and Sackville-West remained lifelong friends who "corresponded warmly".
In 1935, Irons won the Royal Humane Society's Stanhope Gold Medal "for the bravest deed of 1935". She "rescued a woman from drowning under very courageous circumstances at Tresaith Beach, Cardiganshire." It was the first time the medal had been awarded to a woman.( Collapse )
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (21 November 1886 – 1 May 1968) was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.
Nicolson was born in Tehran, Persia, the younger son of diplomat Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock. He was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College, Oxford.
In 1909 he joined HM Diplomatic Service. He served as attaché at Madrid from February to September 1911, and then Third Secretary at Constantinople from January 1912 to October 1914. During the First World War, he served at the Foreign Office in London, during which time he was promoted Second Secretary. As the Foreign Office's most junior employee, it fell to him in August 1914 to hand Britain's revised declaration of war to the German ambassador in London. He served in a junior capacity in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, for which he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.
Promoted First Secretary in 1920, he was appointed private secretary to Sir Eric Drummond, first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, but was recalled to the Foreign Office in June 1920.From left to right: Harold Nickolson, Vita Sackville-West, Rosamund Grosvenor, Lionel Sackville-West, 1913Vita Sackville-West (March 9, 1892 – June 2, 1962) was an English author, poet & gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 & 1933. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, strong marriage (although she and her husband, Harold Nicolson, were both bisexual), her passionate affair with novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and Nicolson created at Sissinghurst. Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. ( Collapse )
(George) James Henry Lees-Milne (born Wickhamford, Worcestershire 6 August 1908
– died Tetbury, Gloucestershire 28 December 1997
) was an English writer and expert on country houses. He was an architectural historian, novelist, and a biographer. He is also remembered as a diarist.
Lees-Milne was born into a prosperous manufacturing family on 6 August 1908 in Wickhamford, Worcestershire. He attended Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire, Eton, and Oxford University. From 1931 to 1935, he was Private Secretary to George Lloyd, 1st Baron Lloyd of Dolobran.
In 1936 he was appointed secretary of the Country Houses Committee of the National Trust. He held that position until 1950, apart from a period of military service from 1939–1941. During that time he was a regular contributor to the Trust's member newsletter, penning various features. He was instrumental in the first large-scale transfer of country houses from private ownership to the Trust. After resigning his full-time position in 1950, he continued his connection with the National Trust as a part-time architectural consultant and member of committees.
Lees-Milne was visiting Diana Mosley when King Edward VIII abdicated. His visit there was to examine the seventeenth-century house she and her husband Sir Oswald Mosley were then renting; he recorded later how he and Diana (her husband was in London) had listened to the King's broadcast abdication speech with tears running down their faces. He had loved her brother Tom Mitford at Eton, and was devastated when Tom was killed in action in Burma in 1945.( Collapse )
Leonard Sidney Woolf (/ˈwʊlf/; 25 November 1880 – 14 August 1969) was an English political theorist, author, publisher and civil servant, and husband of author Virginia Woolf.
Woolf was born in London, the third of ten children of Solomon Rees Sidney Woolf (known as Sidney Woolf), a barrister and Queen's Counsel, and Marie (née de Jongh). His family was Jewish. After his father died in 1892 Woolf was sent to board at Arlington House School near Brighton, Sussex. From 1894 to 1899 he attended St Paul's School, and in 1899 he won a classical scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to the Cambridge Apostles. Other members included Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, GE Moore and EM Forster. Thoby Stephen, Virginia Stephen's brother, was friendly with the Apostles, though not a member himself. Woolf was awarded his BA in 1902, but stayed for another year to study for the Civil Service examinations.
In October 1904 Woolf moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to become a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, in Jaffna and later Kandy, and by August 1908 was named an assistant government agent in the Southern Province, where he administered the District of Hambantota. Woolf returned to England in May 1911 for a year's leave. Instead, however, he resigned in early 1912 and that same year married Virginia Stephen (Virginia Woolf).
Together Leonard and Virginia Woolf became influential in the Bloomsbury group, which also included various other former Apostles.Virginia Woolf was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century. She married writer Leonard Woolf on August 10, 1912.The couple shared a close bond. Indeed, in 1937, Woolf wrote in her diary: "Love-making—after 25 years can't bear to be separate ... you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted: a wife. And our marriage so complete." Virginia committed suicide by drowning at the age of 59. Leonard died in 1969 from a stroke and was cremated with his ashes being buried beneath an elm tree in his beloved garden at Monk's House, with his wife's ashes, in Rodmell, Sussex.( Collapse )
Adeline Virginia Woolf (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. (Picture: Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford)
During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum,
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London in 1882 to Sir Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson).
Virginia's father, Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904), was a notable historian, author, critic and mountaineer. He was the editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, a work which would influence Woolf's later experimental biographies.
Virginia's mother Julia Stephen (1846–1895) was a renowned beauty, born in India to Dr. John and Maria Pattle Jackson. She was also the niece of Julia Margaret Cameron née Pattle, the famous photographer. Julia moved to England with her mother, where she served as a model for Pre-Raphaelite painters such as Edward Burne-Jones.( Collapse )
Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway is, in many ways, the perfect modern novel. Or, a novel born of modernity, and perfectly expressive of modernity. I've reread my copy of Mrs. Dalloway so many times that it's fallen apart. The prose is deceptively casual, a style that would be characterized as "stream of consciousness" yet, unlike Faulkner's work, a stream that's layered yet accessible. What Mrs. Dalloway seems to offer are a series of short characterizations. But Woolf's technique is so blended with sensibility or impulse, that she creates pieces that become greater than the sum of the whole. --Tomas Mournian
A Room of One's Own has been described by some as a feminist tract, but it never felt stuffily political in my opinion. I must have skipped an introduction when I read it, because I didn't realize the book is based on a series of college lectures given by Ms. Woolf. I suppose I was thrown by the fact that, she compiled the lectures and published them as told by a fictional narrator. According to Wikipedia, "By taking on different identities, the narrator transcends one single voice and consequently she makes herself a force to be reckoned with." Scared of her. lol. --Aaron Fricke
Orlando is a classic in so many ways, the history behind this book makes the meaning and the layers even more eloquent and opens up a whole new world of interpretation. Essentially a love letter to one of Woolf’s partners, Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a coded lesbian romance. Orlando is a nobleman who simply decides through his own will that he will never grow old. He moves through the centuries, has many romances and even changes sex, becoming the Lady Orlando. It was because of the gender-bendering and ‘fantastical’ elements that Woolf could, at the time, explore gender and sexuality in a way that had never been done before. It is a brilliant work that should be read by everybody. --Sean Kennedy
The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH (9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962), best known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English author, poet and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her strong marriage (although she and her husband Harold Nicolson were both bisexual), her passionate affair with novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and Nicolson created at Sissinghurst.
Vita Sackville-West was born at Knole House near Sevenoaks Kent, the only child of Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville and his wife Victoria Sackville-West, who were cousins. Her mother was the natural daughter of Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville. Christened "Victoria Mary Sackville-West", she was known as "Vita" throughout her life, to distinguish her from her mother.
The Sackville family custom of following the Salic rules of agnatic male primogeniture prevented Vita from inheriting Knole on the death of her father. The house was bequeathed instead by her father to his younger brother Charles Sackville-West, 4th Baron Sackville. The loss of Knole would affect her for the rest of her life; of the signing in 1947 of documents relinquishing any claim on the property, part of its transition to the National Trust, she wrote that "the signing... nearly broke my heart, putting my signature to what I regarded as a betrayal of all the tradition of my ancestors and the house I loved."
Vita's portrait was painted by Hungarian-born portrait painter Philip de Laszlo in 1910, when she was seventeen. She thought it made her look like a vacuous Edwardian aristocrat, and kept it in her attic throughout her life.Portrait of Violet Trefusis by Sir John Lavery, 1919
Violet Trefusis was a writer and socialite. She was the daughter of Alice Keppel, a mistress of King Edward VII. She is chiefly remembered for her lesbian affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West. The affair was featured in novels by both parties, and also in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography. When she was 10, Violet met Vita (who was two years older) for the first time. Despite Vita and Violet’s marriages, they remained close until 1921, with a lot of passion and jealousy in the middle.( Collapse )
Violet Trefusis née Keppel (6 June 1894 – 29 February 1972) was an English writer and socialite. She is most notable for her lesbian affair with Vita Sackville-West, which was featured under disguise in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography
. In this romanticized biography of Vita, Trefusis appears in it as the Russian princess Sasha. (P: ©Jacques-Emile Blanche (1861-1942)/NPG 5229. Violet Trefusis, 1926 (©4)
Born Violet Keppel, she was the daughter of Alice Keppel, a mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and her husband, the Hon. George Keppel, a son of an Earl of Albemarle. Her biological father, however, was considered by members of the Keppel family to be William Beckett, subsequently 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, a banker and MP for Whitby.
Trefusis lived her early youth in London, where the Keppel family had a house in Portman Square. When Trefusis was four years old, Alice Keppel became the favorite mistress of Albert Edward (Bertie), the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VII on 22 January 1901. He paid visits to the Keppel household in the afternoon around tea-time (while her husband, who was aware of the affair, was conveniently absent), on a regular basis till the end of his life in 1910. In 1900 Violet's only sibling, Sonia, was born.Orlando: A Biography
was not the only account of the love affair between Violet and Vita, which appears in reality to have been very much more strenuous than Woolf's enchanting account: both in fiction (Challenge
by Sackville-West and Trefusis, Broderie Anglaise a roman à clef in French
by Trefusis) and in non-fiction (Portrait of a Marriage
by Sackville-West with extensive "clarifications" added by her son Nigel Nicolson) further parts of the story appeared in print.( Collapse )
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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