London: The Hogarth Press, 1949.
1st Edition. First Edition, OLIVIA printed at The Hogarth Press, 1949.
Beautiful rare unclipped dustjacket designed by Duncan Grant. Original Plum Cloth boards with gilt stamping on the spine and cover. pp.109 8 1/2" x 5 3/4".
This story was published anonymously but was later revealed to be written by Dorothy Bussy the sister of Lytton Strachey, a founding member of the famous Bloomsbury group. Dorothy was in her eighties at the time of publication. The title for the book "Olivia" paid homage to the name of her sister who died as a baby.
This is a coming of age story about the complexity of sexuality taking place in a finishing school for girls and the infatuation of a student with her teacher.
"As a young girl, Dorothy attended Marie Souvestre’s boarding school for girls at Les Ruches in Fontainebleau, France... Souvestre had founded it with her female partner years earlier. When she separated from her partner, she moved the school to England and set up the Allenswood Academy. At fifteen, Eleanor Roosevelt attended Allenswood and later described her three years there as “the happiest time in her life.” Dorothy Strachey was actually a teacher at Allenswood when Eleanor was in attendance."*The Gay and Lesbian Review. Olivia: Dorothy Strachey’s Sapphic Awakening by Irene Javors.
Minor shelf wear and toning. A small tear and fold on page attached. Book club stamp on back free endpaper.
Item #33335 Price: US$650.00