Three novels in one volume following the artistic and eccentric Aubrey family in the years surrounding the Great War.
In The Fountain Overflows,Papa Aubrey’s wife and twin daughters, Mary and Rose, are piano prodigies, his young son, Richard Quin, is a lively boy, and his eldest daughter, Cordelia, is a beautiful and driven young woman with musical aspirations. But the talented and eccentric Aubrey family rarely enjoys a moment of harmony, as its members struggle to overcome the effects of their patriarch’s spendthrift ways. Now they must move so that their father can find stable employment. Despite the daunting odds, the Aubreys hope that art will save them from the cacophony of a life sliding toward poverty. In The Real Night, a talented musician and her kin ponder what being young women on their own will entail. Abandoned by their feckless father, Rose and her family must move beyond their comfortable drawing room to discover a world of kind patrons, music teachers, and concert hall acclaim, but also domestic strife, anti-Semitism, and social pressure to marry. Set before World War I, Rebecca West’s intimate, eloquent family portrait brings to life a time when women recognized their own voices and the joys of living off one’s own talents. In Cousin Rosamund, Mary and Rose Aubrey have found success as accomplished pianists in the years after the war. But despite their travels and material rewards, they remain apart from society. When their cherished cousin Rosamund surprises them by marrying a man they feel is beneath her, the sisters must reconsider what love means to them and how they can find a sense of spiritual wellbeing on their own, without the guidance of their family.
“Very few writers have managed to be more knowledgeable and profound in their thinking,” said the Los Angeles Times about Rebecca West, and the Saga of the Century is a collection of three absorbing novels inspired partly by her own life.
“Rebecca West—highly intelligent, highly gifted, vital, original, combative, formidable, and kind—was a great woman.” —Victoria Glendinning
“[Rebecca West is] a powerful and . . . serious writer.” —Harper’s
“Very few writers have managed to be more knowledgeable and profound in their thinking.” —Los Angeles Times Dame Rebecca West (1892–1983) is one of the most critically acclaimed and bestselling English novelists, journalists, and literary critics of the twentieth century. In her eleven novels, beginning with The Return of the Soldier, she delved into the psychological landscape of her characters and explored topics including feminism, socialism, love, betrayal, and identity. She was lauded for her wit and intellectual acuity, evident in her prolific journalistic work such as her coverage of the Nuremberg trials for the New Yorker, published as A Train of Powder, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, her epic study of Yugoslavia and its people. She had a child with H. G. Wells, but married banker Henry Maxwell Andrews later in life and continued writing until she died in London at age ninety.
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