04 Jun 2009 – Cinema Bookshop Outside (half price!), Hay-on-Wye

Logal Pearsall Smith and Alys who married Bertrand Russell certainly make it into the firmament of my favoured Bloomsbury biogs and autobiogs, so I was intrigued to find this one at the marvellous Cinema Bookshop outside shelves.

Strachey (niece of Lytton) makes a good job of her family history, keeping it all clear in our minds so we don’t need to consult the family trees on the endpapers too often.  We follow three generations of strong and rather eccentric women, all deeply in love with often unsuitable men, but with their own strong personalities and morals which may not follow those of their times.

It was a bit odd to find Barbara writing of herself in the third person when she makes an appearance, but it would be difficult to know how to pitch this.

An unusual, well-researched read and livelier than I feared it would be, with a lot of primary material drawn directly from the sheaves of diaries and letters the women all seemed to keep on with at all times.