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  • Published: 15 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784870553
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $22.99

All Passion Spent

Life begins at 88: a widow escapes her overbearing family and discovers the unexpected freedoms of old age

A charming extraordinary early 20th century novel about family relationships.

When the great statesman Lord Slane dies, everyone assumes his dutiful wife will slowly fade away, the paying guest of each of her six children. But Lady Slane surprises everyone by escaping to a rented house in Hampstead where she revels in her new freedom, revives youthful ambitions and gathers some very unsuitable companions. Irreverent, entertaining and insightful, this is a tale of the unexpected joys of growing older.


  • Published: 15 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784870553
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West was born in 1892 at Knole in Kent, the only child of aristocratic parents. In 1913 she married diplomat Harold Nicolson, with whom she had two sons and travelled extensively before settling at Kent’s Sissinghurst Castle in 1930, where she devoted much of her time to creating its now world-famous garden. Throughout her life Sackville-West had a number of other relationships with both men and women, and her unconventional marriage would later become the subject of a biography written by her son Nigel Nicolson. Though she produced a substantial body of work, amongst which are writings on travel and gardening, Sackville-West is best known for her novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931), and for the pastoral poem The Land (1926), which was awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Prize. Sackville-West died on 2 June 1962 at her Sissinghurst home, aged seventy.

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Praise for All Passion Spent



Inspiring... Old age can be celebrated, not feared

Sunday Telegraph

Every page of this novel is a pleasure to read

The Times

All Passion Spent tells the marvellously cheering story of how, in widowhood, a conventional woman is finally able to defy her family


Behind its lyrical prose is the idea of how important it is to lay claim to your own space, however late in life


Sackville-West writes simply wonderfully and many passages make me laugh out loud

Joanna Lumley

Sackville-West's wickedly funny All Passions Spent is her best novel by a mile... Superb

WI Life

A moving portrait of an old age in which something of the potential self can be recovered. Superb.

Jackie Wilkin, WI Life

It's the ideal moment for those not acquainted with her work to read this engaging, memorable novel. Written in engaging prose that is crisp and witty and hums with vitality. it tells us the important truth that life can begin again at eighty-eight.

Stephen Joyce, Nudge

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