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Download All Passion Spent Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample All Passion Spent (Unabridged), by Vita Sackville-West
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (616 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vita Sackville-West Narrator: Dame Wendy Hiller Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1860, as an unmarried girl of 17, Lady Slane nurtures a secret, burning ambition - to become an artist. She becomes, instead, the wife of a great statesman, Henry, the first Earl of Slane, and the mother of six children.

Seventy years later, released by widowhood, she abandons the family home in Elm Park Gardens - much to the dismay of her pompous sons and daughters - for a tiny house in Hampstead. Here she recollects the dreams of youth, and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bob | 2/18/2014

    " I read this over the summer and in glancing back to try to recall why I liked it so much, I find myself rereading the whole thing. Vita Sackville-West's writing is elegant and effortless and this is apparently regarded as her best book. The story, that of an 88-year old woman widowed and delightedly doing things exactly the way she wants to for the first time in her life despite the incessant meddling of her six children (now in their 60s), is inspiring and elegaic. Of course the author's aristocratic worldview makes it hard for her to comprehend someone not having enough money to live simply and comfortably with no financial anxiety, but relieved of those pedestrian cares, Sackville-West, by way of her protagonist, writes cogently on the contradictions of an artistic calling of any sort versus a conventionally unexamined life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Richelle | 2/14/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. To me, it was about the importance of being true to our goals and passions, even if we must wait a lifetime in order to accomplish our dreams. Lady Slane was not able to be true to her vocation, letting her husband and children fill the void. Though she felt as if she had a happy life, she was unable to fulfill her passion for art. "Nothing matters to an artist except the fulfillment of his gift," Mr. FitzGeorge said to her. And how correct he was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sue | 1/23/2014

    " Really good story about a grandmother planning her future after death of her husband against the wishes of most of her (money grabbing) children. I did find my french a bit lacking when translating the servant's speech! Loved the waspish humour within an essentially sad story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Blyth | 1/18/2014

    " Oh boy, this fine little book riled me up good with questions aplenty to fuel a lifetime of inquiry, or at least a dissertation, all under the gentle cloak of a story about how an elderly widow chooses to ride out the last years of her life. Sackville-West cleverly submerges monumental issues of vocation, marriage, and womanhood under a placid surface of British gentility, the themes eating their way into the reader's psyche that much more effectively for their subtle presentation. They tap you on the shoulder to bid that you might consider the fact that all of society is constructed on a platform of greed and blind ambition. Good fella, mightn't you have a look around you to notice the elbow-cocked jostling about among the world's grotesquerie of inhabitants, in the name of civilization. Her binary characters are constructed irksomely free of nuance. Perhaps due to her own stew of resentments over her marital and societal obligations, the burning questions get laid out in flat, blatant shapes to make her point clear: masculine competition = bad, feminine contemplation = good. At the risk of sounding ungrateful to my female forebears, Sackville-West's protagonist, Lady Slane, comes across at times like a spoiled brat who has no idea what real suffering even smells like (not meaning to imply that I have ever gotten so much as a whiff, either). She has the grace to spend nearly three pages giving a perfunctory nod to the her French servant's subsumed life before deciding not to "blame herself overmuch for the last indulgence of her melancholy." It took some effort to figure out what FitzGeorge and her other admirers saw in Lady Slane, though it's possible I'm underestimating the rarity of a gentle soul in the viceregal crowd. She wraps things up with a sanguine passing of the baton to her great-granddaughter who has the chance to do things differently, to act with defiance against society's expectations of her. Following the success of this book, Sackville-West apparently fell into what the author of the book's introduction terms an "irrational depression" - the best sort for a privileged smartypants like herself. Is a life of artistic contemplation justifiable and true or is there no obligation to society to be of more practical use, especially considering the resources at one's disposal? Does the answer depend on the presence of artistic talent? I don't know. "

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