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Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History by Adam…

Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History

by Adam Nicolson

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Nicholson's got both a sense of place and a sense of prose in his genes. He's an extraordinarily good writer. I loved this book, which chronicles the entire history of Sissinghurst from ancient times to the modern day while also limning the fight Nicholson is waging with the National Trust to make Sissinghurst once again a self-sustaining organic farm. Lavishly illustrated with photos from the last hundred-odd years.

( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
The story of Sissinghurst and Adam Nicolson's struggle to return the surrounding land to a working farm which acknowledges past, present and future. Nicolson writes very well and is quite open about his own failure to fully see that other people also had a strong emotional attachment to the place. ( )
  janglen | Apr 3, 2012 |
21 Jan 2011 (I either had this for a present or bought it with birthday Amazon vouchers)

A wonderful feast of a book, goiong through the history of Vita Sackville-West's beloved Sissinghurst and the plans her grandson has for it as he comes of age and embraces the partnership that it offers (this is the book accompanying a TV series that was shown last year; there's so much more satisfying detail in the book!). Some truly exquisite, and never less than lovely, writing and descriptions make this a book to be treasured and re-read - and it even makes me proud to be from the Weald of Kent! ( )
  LyzzyBee | Oct 5, 2011 |
A drowsily beautiful and gorgeously written book. To my regret, I never did visit the famous gardens at Sissinghurst Castle when I lived in the south of England (too remote and difficult for a poor carless student to access). But this book made me feel as though I now know it a little. By turns a history of the Kentish landscape and environment, a tale of bureaucratic struggles with the National Trust (who now own the property), and a chronicle of the many historical characters who have inhabited Sissinghurst down the centuries - not least of which were the author's famed literary grandparents Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West. Adam Nicolson has clearly inherited some remarkable writing abilities, and I enjoyed the fact that the story has no clear outcome, as yet - the project to transform Sissinghurst back into the working farm it once was is still very much an unfinished project, as the title of the book indicates. His vision for what the estate could be is unabashedly romantic, and may well end up being unachievable, but it is unarguably noble. On my next trip to England, Sissinghurst will definitely be on the itinerary.
  Panopticon2 | Feb 12, 2011 |
The grandson of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, and son of Nigel Nicolson offers his vision of what Sissinghurst could be if expanded and restored to a working farm. Adam Nicolson grew up in the Castle and the gardens, and roamed the countryside discovering fields and valleys and ancient sites. He writes lovingly of the place, his relatives, and of those who lived there working the gardens and the land. He describes his struggle with the National Trust and the people of the area to convince them of his vision. Sometimes he is unrealistic and almost arrogant, but as the book shows progress towards his vision is being made. For anyone who has toured the gardens or follows the Bloomsbury set. Adam has inherited from his father and grandmother an extraordinary ability to write. ( )
1 vote pak6th | Jun 28, 2010 |
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The grandson of Virginia Woolf's poet paramour Vita Sackville-West traces his passionate efforts to restore his family's celebrated garden, an effort that included a reinstatement of a working farm to grow food for more than 200,000 annual visitors.

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