Piers Paul Read

Lunch Thursday

The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf

By Louise DeSalvo and Mitchell Leaska (eds)

Hutchinson 473pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

The author and explorer, Sir Richard Burton, wrote that once he had understood the appetite of the English for the erotic, his fortune was made. It was unfortunate for his descendants that his widow destroyed his diaries, for now it is equally apparent that the writer who is anxious to provide for his progeny after his death has only to lead a life of sexual depravity, and record it in detail in letters and diaries, for a whole industry to survive his demise.

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