Vita met Virginia Woolf in December 1922 and invited her to Ebury Street for dinner. Middle class Virginia was immediately smitten:
‘The lovely gifted aristocratic Sackville-West… Could I ever know her? I am to dine there on Tuesday. The aristocratic manner is something like an actress’s – no false shyness or modesty – makes me feel virgin, shy and schoolgirl.’
The two women were soon having an affair. Entranced by her cross-dressing lover, Virginia later wrote about her in a novel. First published in 1928, the novel also featured a stately home very like Knole, Lord Sackville’s ancestral pile in Kent.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 36. What was the title of Virginia Woolf’s novel about Vita Sackville-West?
‘Riveting’ – Daily Mail
‘Fascinating’ – The Times
‘Outstanding’ – Midwest Book Review
‘Utterly absorbing’ – Macleans