From The New York Times:
“Heaven preserve us from all the sleek and dowdy virtues, such as punctuality, conscientiousness, fidelity and smugness!” So wrote Violet Keppel in her unruly call to arms to the great ruling passion of her life, Vita Sackville-West. “What great man was ever constant? What great queen was ever faithful? Novelty is the very essence of genius and always will be. If I were to die tomorrow, think how I should have lived!” And indeed, how this woman, this “unexploded bomb,” as Vita called her, “lived!”
Sir Michael De Courcy Fraser Holroyd, biographer supreme of Lytton Strachey, George Bernard Shaw and the painter Augustus John, among others, tells the much-told tale of Violet and Vita yet again, in “A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers,” but with more depth and context than anyone has before. And he tells us oh so much more besides the fascinating story of “the three V’s” of Bloomsbury — for wherever go the glamorous and flamboyant Violet and Vita, Virginia, in her blue stockings, ambles nearby, pen at hand.