Cover image for Life regained : diaries, January 1970-December 1971
Life regained : diaries, January 1970-December 1971
Partridge, Frances, 1900-2004.
Paperback edition.
Publication Information:
London : Phoenix, 1999.

Physical Description:
xv, 256 pages : color illustrations ; 20 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA589.4 .P369 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Francis Partridge's diaries are the record of a woman who not only participated in the lives of the legendary Bloomsbury group, but was the circle's oldest surviving member until her death in 2004. In this volume, aged 70, widowed for 10 years, and still mourning the loss of her son Burgo, Partridge still manages to write and live with an extraordinary passion for her friends, traveling abroad, playing in string quartets, walking in the country, and enjoying life in every way. This volume takes her to Russia, Spain, Poland, Tuscany, and France. Partridge lives and writes with an acute sensitivity to all things in life, whether it is the first fall of snow in winter, a desperate love triangle of one of her friends, a mesmerizing performance of an opera, or the dazzling wit of a friend.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Noted English diarist and former Bloomsbury group member Partridge opens this sprightly journal in 1970 as she turns 70. Active and alert in mind and body, she discusses Shakespeare and Noam Chomsky's linguistic theories, goes to the opera and theater, plays Ping-Pong, translates Jorge Luis Borges, travels to Poland, Spain, Russia, Corfu and Italy. An elegant and poised stylist, she punctures the egos of friends and acquaintances with rapier wit, analyzing their relationships, sex lives, neuroses, marriages. We get glimpses of Cyril Connolly, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Duncan Grant, Quentin Bell, Iris Murdoch, William Golding and Rebecca West. Partridge was linked to the Bloomsbury circle by family ties as well as by friendships; her husband, Ralph, who died in 1960, had been previously married to painter Dora Carrington; the author's brother-in-law, novelist David Garnett (son of eminent translator Constance Garnett), later married Angela Grant, daughter of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. True to her credo of never saying no to a new experience, Partridge strives to carry on the Bloomsbury ideals of living life as an art form, cultivating friendship and creativity. And she is often amusing: "I was unfortunately put next to my host `Dandy Kim' (a well-known crook)... He had no conversation whatever and kept jumping up and leaving the room. It was strange, but not quite strange enough to be interesting." As her contemporaries move to the right, supporting the establishment, she increasingly opposes jingoism, xenophobia, war, class distinctions and stale conventions. While much of this gossipy, rarefied diary consists of ephemera, Partridge astonishes and delights with whiplash turns of phrase, epiphanies and thumbnail character sketches, and by growing old with grace and art. Photos. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved