Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell

Letters from Vanessa Bell, 1885 (as a six-year-old writing to her father) to 1961 (the year she died). Admittedly, my interest in Vanessa stems mainly from her relationship with her sister (Virginia Woolf) and the ability for these letters to color in the background details of their lives. But she is a wildly interesting character in her own right, the queen of Bloomsbury, a radical maternal figure who ended up living exactly the unconventional life she yearned for.

The letters are not quite as snarky and deliciously malicious as I’d been led to believe, but still were lively, entertaining, gossipy, and candid.

In 1904 she wrote to Virginia: “But there’s something horrible to me… in any third person’s reading what was meant to be only between two. I shall burn all my letters someday.”