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Victoria Mary "Vita" Sackville-West was born into the aristocratic family that owned the beautiful and ancient Knole House in Kent, once home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was her great grief that, as a woman, she could not inherit it. In 1913, she married the diplomat and future Member of Parliament Harold Nicolson and traveled with him to Constantinople and Persia. The couple were associated with the Bloomsbury set, and after the birth of their two sons (one of whom, Nigel, wrote his parents' biography in Portrait of a Marriage), they had many independent relationships. Vita became a famed writer and also worked tirelessly for years to create her own magnificent gardens at her home Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. She was notorious for her tempestuous relationship with Violet Trefusis, which nearly destroyed her marriage; later she was a lover of Virginia Woolf, whose fantasy novel Orlando (1928) was inspired by Vita. Vita's novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931) were both adapted for television. Some of her letters were published in Vita and Harold: The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson (1992).
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