The Complete Diaries of Frances Partridge
Seven volumes covering 1939–1975: A Pacifist's War; Everything to Lose; Hanging On; Other People; Good Company; Life Regained; Ups and Downs, plus Memories (1981)
The Complete Diaries in seven volumes. All first edition hardbacks in dustwrapper.
Here are the diaries of Frances Partridge, running from 1939 to 1975, in seven volumes. Now recognised as one of the great British diarists of the century, Partridge was born in Bedford Square, Bloomsbury in 1900, the daughter of a progressive mother and architect father whose friends included Henry James and Arthur Conan Doyle. After studying Moral Sciences and English at Cambridge, she worked in Heywood Hill's Curzon Street bookshop and became part of the Bloomsbury Group, meeting Woolf, the Bells, Roger Fry and Keynes. She met and fell in love with Ralph Partridge who was at the time married to Dora Carrington. After the death of Lytton Strachey, with whom she was in love, Carrington committed suicide. Ralph and Frances married in 1933. During the war they were both committed pacifists and opened their house, Ham Spray, to numerous waifs and strays of war. After it was over they enjoyed the happiest time of their life together, entertaining friends such as E M Forster, Robert Kee and Duncan Grant. This life of great warmth and friendship ended abruptly when Ralph died in 1960. Three years later another tragedy struck when their only son, Burgo, died at the age of 28 from a brain haemorrhage. 'I have utterly lost heart: I want no more of this cruel life,' Frances wrote and yet she made a decision 'to live in the present' and 'to get a better seat on my bicycle'. Despite such enormous suffering, she maintained an astonishing appetite for life, whether for her friends, travelling, botany, or music. Her diaries, written without thought of publication, chronicle a remarkable life. Beautifully written, full of an infectious enthusiasm and unending curiosity, they are utterly riveting and rank amongst the greatest diaries of the century.
The books are:
1. A Pacifist's War, 1939–1945. (Hogarth Press, 1978), wrapper by Angelica Garnett. Good condition, some tanning to page edges and occasional staining to the pages.
2. Everything to Lose, Diaries 1945–1960. (Gollancz, 1985). wrapper by Angelica Garnett. Very good condition, sun-fading to the wrapper's spine.
3. Hanging On, Diaries 1960–1963. (Collins, 1990). Very good condition but wrapper sun-faded to the spine.
4. Other People, Diaries 1963–1966. (HarperCollins, 1993). A very good copy.
5. Good Company, Diaries 1967–1970. (HarperCollins, 1994). Very good condition, wrapper has been price-clipped.
6. Life Regained, Diaries 1970–1972. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998). A very good copy.
7. Ups and Downs, Diaries 1972–1975, (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001). A very good copy with a hint of fading to the spine.
8. Also included is a biography of FP's earlier years, "Memories", published in 1981 by Gollancz, Good condition with a faded spine.
All books are in strong readable condition with some fading and wear, and make a very decent set.
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