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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2003-05-24 04:40:18
Subject: The Garnetts and Amanda Cross

* Forwarded (from: LIBRARY_FMY) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from francis muir (8:8/2002) to All.
* Original dated: Thu May 22, 05:57

From: francis muir <francis.muir.1944{at}balliol.org>

Having some rather glorious genealogical software--REUNION 8--I thought to
add the Garnetts to my arboretum and got out two biographies chiefly for
the dates and associations"

Angelica Garnett's *Deceived with Kindness*

and

Carolyn Heilbrun's *The Garnett Family*.

AG was "deceived" in two ways. Firstly, she was the last to find
out that her father was not Clive Bell but Duncan Grant. Her mother was
Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa. Secondly, she was the last to find out
that her husband, David Garnett, had been her father's lover. The book is
not uninteresting but it has a certain psychotherapeutic ring I found
irritating, and AG is not a writer. The best thing I found out is that the
Bells really did refer to leonard and Virginia as "the Woolves".

I had quite forgotten who CH was and since her book appeared to be her
Columbia PhD thesis writ large I thougtht I'd find it useful but tedious.
How wrong I was. It's beautifully written and chock full of anecdote,
properly footnoted of course, that make the characters spring to life. Here
is Samuel Butler:

"Mr. Garnett, as all who know him must admit, is one of the most
amiable and benign of men; he is also very tall. One day I saw him
stretching himself to his utmost to reach one of the top shelves of the
Reading Room Reference Library, so I said,'Why, Mr. Garnett, you are the
very embodiment of Milton's line "Of linked sweetness long drawn
out" '. He was much pleased."

Samuel Butler was a crotchety old bastard and seems to have dedicated part
of his life to getting a rise out of Garnett which it seems he never quite
managed except perhaps once.

I was sufficiently impressed by Heilbrun's book that I have decoded to go
through the Amanda Cross mysteries as summer reading.

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