Cousin Rosamund unfolds the final chapters of the saga that began with The Fountain Overflows, Rebecca West's acknowleged masterpiece, and continued with This Real Night. As the glitter of the 1920s gives way to the Depression, Rose and Mary find themselves feted and successful pianists. But their happiness is diminished by their cousin's unfathomable marriage to a man they perceive as grotesque.
Rose Aubrey is one of a family of four children. Their father, Piers, is the disgraced son of an Irish landowning family, a violent, noble and quite unscrupulous leader of popular causes. His Scottish wife, Clare, is an artist, a tower of strength, fanatically devoted to a musical future for her daughters. This is the story of their life in south London, a life threatened by Piers's streak of tragic folly which keeps them on the verge of financial ruin and social disgrace....
"One of my favorite book - now in audio!"
It was not because life was not good enough that Ellen Melville was crying as she sat by the window. Rebecca West (1892-1983) was born Cicily Isabel Fairfield, taking her pen name from an Ibsen play. A feminist and social reformer, she was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1959. Her only son, Anthony West, is the son of author H. G. Wells.
Acknowledged as Rebecca West's fictional masterpiece, The Fountain Overflows introduces the crisis-ridden Aubrey family. This Real Night continues their remarkable story. It is the early 1900s. With the disappearance of Piers, her feckless and gambling husband, and the sale of some valuable paintings, Clare Aubrey has a firmer grip on the purse strings. Rose and Mary are at Music College, struggling for artistic perfection, while the self-assured Cordelia has fallen into the role of art dealer's assistant.
"Gorgeous and brilliant."
In this lyrical and poignant story of a wounded man and the three concerned women who seek to heal him, Rebecca West explores the complexity of the mind and its subtle strategies for coping with life's painful realities. Only when Chris has the courage to face one pivotal moment of truth in his married life will he be able to awaken from his boyish fantasy and become, indeed, "every inch a soldier".
"Kind of Boring."
A beautiful actress of the 1920s faces painful decisions about her lovers and her future Star of the stage, Sunflower has everything but the attention she craves from her long-time—and married—lover, Lord Essington, a brilliant and intense man occupied with more intellectual thoughts. Eager for a more rewarding experience, Sunflower must decide whether another “great man,” the Australian Francis Pitt, will offer a more traditional relationship and happiness.
"Characters brought to life, made real"
The Return of the Soldier is Rebecca West's 1918 novel of the struggle of a World War I veteran, Chris Baldry, who is shell-shocked with amnesia, to return home and make sense of the life that he had before he went to war, a life that now he can't entirely remember.
This dramatic novel shows with great heart, that the horrors of war are not always left on the battlefield.
Chris' "shell shock" blocks out fifteen years of his life as he returns home to his wife, only to remember and revisit Margaret, the earlier love of his life. The plot of this book takes place during World War I, but the consequences of battle are just as devastating today.
In these four brilliant short novels set in America, England and Paris, Rebecca West explores the lives and relationships of rich women and men who are ruled by 'the harsh voice we hear when money talks, or hate'. There is Josie, a flower of American girlhood whose boundless ambition for wealth fatally loosens the bonds of her marriage to Corrie. There is Etienne de Sevenac, a dilettante French aristocrat whose courtly stratagems are no match for Nancy Sarle - a plain but powerful American businesswoman.
Of all the women he had ever known she was the most ethereal. Loving her was like swathing oneself with a long scarf of spirit.'Harriet Hume, musical, mystical and whimsical, is the very essence of femininity- both princess and trollop. Her beautiful room in a dilapidated Kensington House is the setting for this love story, she herself an extension of the beauty which surrounds her.
This essay comes from the NPR series This I Believe, which features brief personal reflections from both famous and unknown Americans. The pieces that make up the series compel listeners to rethink not only what and how they have arrived at their beliefs, but also the extent to which they share them with others.