Once upon a time, I had grandiose notions of writing a PhD thesis on Storm Jameson (abandoned alas, because a gal has to pay the rent). I'm always fascinated by writers - particularly women - who lived through, and wrote about both world wars and Jameson's additional work in publishing and for PEN made her all the more fascinating to me. So I'm very excited about Margaret Storm Jameson: A Life by Jennifer Birkett. I've read Jameson's own memoir, Journey From the North, but while beautifully written, it's a bit coy about her personal life and doesn't focus as much on her books as this biography promises to.
I've dipped into Frances Partridge's diaries from time to time and have come across bits of her story as a minor figure in the biographies of Carrington, Lytton Strachey and various other members of the Bloomsbury Group. But I'm delighted she'll take center stage in Anne Chisholm's upcoming book, Frances Partridge: The Biography. I first heard about it listening to this delightful podcast from the Guardian, interviewing the indomitable Diana Athill, whose latest book, Somewhere Towards the End, is also on my to-be-read pile. At one point Athill talks about her love affairs with married men and mentions she is reading a proof of Chisholm's book. She admires Partridge's tolerant attitude to her husband's affairs and her disdain of the "geometrical approach to emotional relationships". This, Athill contends, closes one to the "tender curvaceousness" of life and love that is everywhere in the world. I love that phrase and as Athill acknowledges, "there was plenty of tender curvaceousness going on in that set!".